Driven by his passion for a vast body of music, conductor and educator Dr. Nils Klykken seeks innovative ways to breathe new life into old masterpieces. Whether working on a Bach Cantata Chamber project, Icelandic folk-music, or a late-Haydn Mass, Klykken's focus on conscious improvisation as musical agency allows his ensembles to reinterpret musical meaning and relevancy in the 21st century. Klykken enjoys collaborating with vocal soloists and instrumentalists within the confines of chamber ensembles, where he cultivates soloistic singing and playing within the larger texture. In September 2016, Klykken employed these techniques in his lecture-recital entitled, "Warum? Seeking an Improvisatory Model for Performing the Brahms Motets," in which he explored ideals of historical performance practices and 21st-century improvisation with his choir, the Blue Flower Singers.
As Assistant Professor of Choral Music at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, Dr. Klykken conducts Hosmer Choir and the treble-chamber ensemble Phoenix Club, teaches choral methods and conducting courses, and supervises undergraduate conductors in advanced conducting tutorials. As a music educator, Klykken is committed to exploring ways in which music and performing ensembles can become more inclusive in the 21st century.
Dr. Klykken earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees at the Eastman School of Music (ESM), and his Bachelor of Music Education degree at the University of Michigan (UM). Klykken has studied conducting under William Weinert (ESM), Jerry Blackstone (UM), Brad Lubman (ESM), Paul Rardin (UM), and Julie Skadsem (UM). A tenor, Klykken has studied voice under Stephen West (UM), Rico Serbo (UM), Natalie Buickians, and Matthew Valverde. Klykken lives with his husband, Maxwell Grube, in Potsdam, NY, where he can be found playing board games in his spare time.