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NICOLE PINNELL | Cellist, Recording Artist, Educator

Nicole Pinnell is an outstanding artist who has accomplished herself in every realm of music. Her unique skill set includes accomplishments as a recording artist, performer, educator, composer, arranger, and album producer. Most recently, Pinnell studied under innovative, four time Grammy- winning cellist Eugene Friesen. In 2022, Pinnell was awarded Master of Music in Contemporary Performance from the University of West London. Her studies included improvisation, electronic effects, looping, jazz, pop, blues, country, rock, and heavy-metal. Other classes in Pinnell’s degree included songwriting, pedagogy, and rigorous academic scholarship. The bulk of Pinnell’s research focused on how cultivating subjective techniques, such as individuation and a connection to the collective unconscious, impact creativity, improvisation, and performance.

A distinct feature of Pinnell’s mindset is continuous growth. In 2015 Pinnell was selected by Yo-Yo Ma to be in his inaugural Global Musician Workshop. This led to immersive studies with Mr. Ma, members of the Silk Road Ensemble, and this time with musicians from African, Hindustani, Peruvian, Middle Eastern and Asian traditions made Pinnell’s unique style even more evocative. These experiences also infused Pinnell with a desire to compose. One of Pinnell’s first original works, Thorns and Thistles, a musical underscore performed at Columbia University in New York City, won an award from the Association of Mormon Letters. Pinnell produced and helped arrange her first full solo album, Away in A Manger, A Cello Christmas. The album charted #2 on the Traditional Classical Billboard Chart. Most recently, Pinnell composed a solo album for Warner Chappell production music, titled Nak’d (under Scott Reinwand). The album is under production and is not yet released.

As a sought-after and prolific recording artist, Pinnell has soloed on over a hundred film scores, three Grammy-nominated albums, and many Billboard-charting albums. Pinnell’s performance career began at age 12 with a tour of the Bach Suties, continued in Carnegie Hall at age 14, then extended for decades across the globe, including the former Soviet Union, Europe, and the US. Nicole has appeared with Joshua Bell, Andrea Bocelli, Disturbed, Josh Groban, Yo-Yo Ma, Led Zeppelin, Olivia Rodrigo, and Hans Zimmer, to name a few. She has recorded for Steven Tyler, served full-time with the Utah Symphony, and her classical piano trio, the Uinta Trio, has performed across the Midwest. As a teacher, Pinnell is equally accomplished. Her students, energized by her emotional style and call for accountability, regularly win top scholarships, prizes, and awards. In 2012, Pinnell was chosen as Educator of the Year by Utah’s American String Teacher Association.

Award-Winning Soloist

Grammy-nominated albums:
Atmosphere, Kaskade, Ultra Records, 2013
Fire & Ice, Kaskade, Ultra Records, 2011
Wish Upon a Star, Jenny Oaks Baker, Shadow Mountain Records, 2011

Billboard #1 charting albums:
Stand by Me, Mat and Savanna Shaw, Deseret Book, 2021
Forever, Nathan Pacheco, Legendary Vocals by Peter Hollens, 2021 Picture This, Mat and Savanna Shaw, Deseret Book, 2020
Hymns, Gentri, Shadow Mountain, 2018
Higher, Nathan Pacheco, Shadow Mountain, 2017
Finding Christmas, Gentri, Shadow Mountain, 2016

Award-Winning Composer and Producer

Billboard Charting Album, 2018
Away in A Manger, A Cello Christmas, by Nicole Pinnell

AML Award for Thorns and Thistles: A Concert of Literature, 2019
performed at Columbia University in New York City

BYU Museum of Art Outstanding Achievement Award for A Dance of Light, 2021 a multimedia project with poet James Goldberg (US) and geometric painter Lisa DeLong (UK)

Nak’d, for Warner Chappell Production Music, 2022. Composer, Performer, Producer.

YouTube Collaborations (selected list)

Away in A Manger with Rebecca Pacheco:
Be Thou My Vison, Halleluia, Nella Fantasia and Take on Me with Nathan Pacheco.,,,

Driver’s License, with Olivia Rodrigo, on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen. Composed by Sarah Brough Blomquist, with the BYU Singers and Nicole Pinnell.
Homeward Bound with David Archuletta and Nathan Pacheco.
Homeward Bound with Mat and Savanna Shaw:
I See the Christ. Performed by Casey Elliot, Savannah Stevenson, Jayne Galloway, and Nicole Pinnell. https://
If You Could Only Imagine with Natalie Edwards:
Lifeline with Lauren Grunwald:
Mary, Did You Know with Gentri and Mat and Savanna:
Oh Holy Night with Steven Jones:
One Spring Morn with Casey Elliot and Scott Hamilton: 1634155206932648
Passacaglia with Jenny Oaks Baker:


Album Performance Credits (selected list)

Anjunabeats Volume 13, Above and Beyond, Involved Productions, 2017 Atmosphere, Kaskade, Ultra Records, 2013
Automatic, Kaskade, Ultra Records, 2015
Awakening, Jenny Oaks Baker, Shadow Mountain, 2016
Away in A Manger: A Cello Christmas, Nicole Pinnell, Shadow Mountain, 2018 Begin, David Archuletta, Highway Records, 2012
Cavo Paradiso, Ultra Records, 2012
Celebrating Wendell Berry in Music, Salt Lake Vocal Artists, Tantara Records, 2017 Classic: The Rock Album, Jenny Oaks Baker, Shadow Mountain, 2014 Eclipse, Late Night Alumni, High Note Records, 2015
Encountering Jesus, Michael McLean, Shadow Mountain, 2015
Epic, Jenny Oaks Baker, Shadow Mountain Records, 2020
Evening Angels, Kurt Bestor, Pinnacle Group, 1994
Finding Christmas, Gentri, Shadow Mountain, 2016
Fire and Ice, Kaskade, Ultra Records, 2011
Forever, Nathan Pacheco, Legendary Vocals by Peter Hollens, 2021 Gentlemen Trio, Gentri, Shadow Mountain, 2015
Higher, Nathan Pacheco, Shadow Mountain, 2017
Hudson Lights, Hudson Lights, Shadow Mountain, 2013
Hymns, Gentri, Shadow Mountain, 2018
Inside My Soul, Sandra Turley, Shadow Mountain, 2014
Kurt Bestor & the Collective: Outside the Lines, Black Diamond Music, 2014 Innovators II, Kurt Bestor and Sam Cardon, Treble V Music, 2002
Live All In, Hillary Weeks, 2020
Love Your Life, Hillary Weeks, Shadow Mountain Records, 2016
Madilyn Paige, Madilyn Paige, Highway Records, 2015
Noel: Carols of Christmas Past, Jenny Oaks Baker, Shadow Mountain Records, 2012 One Journey, Ryan Stewart Music, 2014
Picture This, Mat and Savanna Shaw, Deseret Book, 2020
Rise, Gentri, Shadow Mountain, 2018
Sketches, Kurt Bestor, BWE Music, 1997
Songs from Mother Earth, Nicole Pinnell, Huge Sound Records, 2021
Stand By Me, Mat and Savanna Shaw, Deseret Book, 2021
Sunday Morning with Classical Cello, various artists, Shadow Mountain, 2011 Tales from Another World: Vol. 1: South America, Myon, Black Hole Recordings, 2019 The Darkness and the Sun, Debra Fatheringham, Groundloop Records, 2017 Velvet Groove, Erik Valentine, Matcha Entertainment, 2018
Winter Symphony, Jennifer Thomas, Tickled Ivory Music, 2015
Wish Upon A Star, Jenny Oaks Baker, Shadow Mountain Records, 2011


Film Score, TV and Video Game Performance Credits (selected list)

A Christmas Tale, Grégoire Hetzel, 2000
A Grace Note Christmas, various, 2020
Alpha, Joseph DeBeasi and Michael Stearns, 2018
Arctic Blue, Peter Rogers Melnick, 1993
Army of Darkness, Joseph LoDuca, 1992
Ash vs Evil Dead, Joseph LoDuca, 2015-2018
American Gothic, Jeff Russo, 1995
Book of Mormon at, Alan Williams, 2018-present
Dead Silence, Jonathan Goldsmith, 1997
Dollar for the Dead, George S. Clinton, 1998
Driven in Detroit, Chance Thomas, 2016
Dungeons and Dragons Video Game, Chance Thomas, 2012
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Joseph LoDuca, 1995-1999
Imaginary Crimes, Stephen Endelman, 1994
Jefferson in Paris, Richard Robbins, 1995
Keeper of the City, Leonard Roseman, 1991
The Librarians, Joseph LoDuca, 2013-2017
Little Secrets, Kurt Bestor, 2001
Lord of the Rings Online Video Game, Chance Thomas, 2002-2017
New Nightmare, J. Peter Robinson, 1994
Ouija, the Origin of Evil, The Newton Brothers, 2016
Panic, Brian Tyler, 2000
The Penny Promise, Kurt Bestor, 2001
People: A Musical Celebration, Jason Miles, 1995
Peter and the Wolf, Cameron Patrick, 1995
Saturday’s Warrior, Lex de Azavedo, 2016
Scarecrow, Kurt Bestor, 2000
Songcatcher, David Mansfield, 2000
Spartacus, Joseph LoDuca, 2010-2013
States of Grace, Ben Carson, 2005
Swan Princess, Lex De Azavedo, 1994
Tales of a Time Traveler, Chance Thomas, 2017
The Reason Behind Christmas, Chance Thomas, 2018
Tonight Show: Jimmy Fallon with Olivia Rodrigo, Olivia Rodrigo with Dan Nigro, 2021 Work and the Glory, Sam Cardon, 2004
Two for Texas, Lee Holdridge, 1998
Xena: Warrior Princess, Joseph Lo Duca, 1995-2001
Wash Me in the River, Philp Klein, to be released in 2022
Zion Canyon: Treasure of the God, Sam Cardon, 1996


Community Engagement

Volunteer musician and concert organizer at Alta Ridge Assisted Living (1999-2004) Community volunteer for the Navajo Nation (2016-2020)
Music services donated to:

Operation Underground Railroad
Stella H. Oaks Foundation for Single Mothers
Utah Pride Center, home for Utah’s diverse LGBTQ+ community The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Teaching Experience

Educator of the Year: American String Teacher Association of Utah, 2012 Studio Teacher,1990-present

Students regularly win top Utah awards and scholarships Faculty at various schools, including:

Brigham Young University, 1993-1996 Weber State University, 1996-2000, 2021 Utah Valley University, 2010-2011


Master of Music Degree in Contemporary Performance, awarded in 2022 Academy of Music and Sound (AMS), the University of West London, UK Under the tutelage of four-time Grammy winner, cellist Eugene Friesen

Other post graduate work
Creative Cello Course with Eugene Friesen, 2020
Creative Cello at the Vermont Music Intensive with Eugene Friesen, 2018 Global Musician Workshop with Béla Fleck, 2016
Global Musician Workshop with Yo-Yo Ma, 2015
Doctoral Recitals with Dr. Claudine Bigelow, University of Maryland, 2000-2002

Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance, with Honors Awarded from Arizona State University in1993

Yo-Yo Ma, Truls Mørk, Bernard Greenhouse, Menahem Pressler, and Colin Carr Various dates with each artist, 1982-2018

Initial Studies
Student of Kathleen Franceschi at the National Suzuki Center (Aber), 1979-1983

High School Study
Peter Howard, principal cellist of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, 1983-1988 Additional coaching from Pinchas Zukerman, 1986-1988


Recent Professional Activities (partial summary)

Billboard #1 Charting album Stand by Me, by Mat and Savanna Shaw

Billboard #1 Charting album Forever, by Nathan Pacheco

Czardas in Abravanel Hall, The Lyceum Philharmonic

Driver’s License, on The Tonight Show with Olivia Rodrigo Finding Christmas with Gentri Folksongs with Daniel Jonas and Viktor Uzer

A CD of classically jazzed up folksongs for cello quartet and trumpet

Tracks 1-6. Solo improvisations on tracks 3 and 4.
Hale Center Theatre, Daddy Long Legs, Bright Star, Light in the Piazza
JACC, a documentary about Japanese internment camps, 2022

Cello soloist and contributor with Mark Orton and John Hancock Kurt Bestor Christmas Songs for Mother Earth, composer and cellist Stage appearances with Andrea Bocelli and Michael Bublé Subscription concerts with the Utah Symphony
Tours with classical-crossover tenor Nathan Pacheco Tours with classical Piano Trio, the Uinta Trio Tours with Mat and Savanna Shaw Utah Inauguration with David Archuleta Virtual Concerts

Deseret Book Sessions: eventcalendarconcerts/the-nathan-pacheco-session

A Deseret Book Christmas:

Webber at the Eccles


Film Appearances on Screen: Film/TV Show, Producer, Year

Lamb of God: The Concert Film, Rob Gardner, 2021 Grace Notes: Michael McLean, Russ Kendall, 2021 Grace Notes: Nathan Pacheco, Russ Kendall, 2020 Grace Notes: Peter Breinholt, Russ Kenall, 2020

East Meets West in Music: A Documentary of the American Soviet Youth Orchestra, Global

American Television,1990.


American String Teacher Association Keynote Speaker, February 3, 2021

Becoming a Superhero through Chamber Music American String Teacher Association Workshop Speaker, October 23, 2021

Premiering the Works of Living Composers Critical Evaluation and Live Performance, June 7, 2021

A Performance of Creative Cello

Presented in partial fulfillment for a Master of Music Degree at AMS Critical Evaluation and Live Performance, March 28, 2021

Cohesion in Ensemble and Musical Direction Skills

Presented in partial fulfillment for a Master of Music Degree at AMS Critical Evaluation of Two Case Studies: Paper, March 1, 2021

Does Musical Exploration Produce Dynamic Learning Outcomes?

Presented in partial fulfillment for a Master of Music Degree, AMS Master-Level Project (Paper and Two Performances): October 2, 2021

Building Technique or Listening Within: A Practice-led Case Study of Two Methods of Developing Musicianship

Presented in partial fulfillment for a Master of Music Degree, AMS Oscarson Lecture Series, Brigham Young University, October 14, 2021

Building a 21st-century Career in Music: Cultivating Creativity and Reaching for Resilience
Paper: Fred Katz: the Cellist who Brought a New Genre to the Cello. January 8, 2022. Video Conference Presentation and Annotated Bibliography, June 7, 2021

Finding My Voice: A Cellist’s Journey in Improvisation

Presented in partial fulfillment for a Master of Music Degree at AMS Video Conference Presentation and Bibliography, November 17, 2021

Innovations on the Cello made by Eugene Friesen

Presented in partial fulfillment for a Master of Music Degree at AMS

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