Nigel Shipway’s percussion collection going for a song

Nigel Shipway’s percussion collection going for a song

On 6th December, and later next year, specialist auction house Gardiner Houlgate is planning to sell a collection of percussion instruments from the estate of renowned professional percussionist, Nigel Shipway, who died in May this year. The extensive collection includes historical and contemporary instruments of all kinds including: full kits, part kits, snare drums (over 50), cymbals (over 100), bongos, congas, chimes, gongs, timpani, vibraphones, Indian, ethnic, tambourines, blocks, shakers, sticks, mallets, effects etc. The collection, which Nigel Shipway put together over his lifetime: ‘…shows off his passion and dedication to his art, with many of the pieces being tools of his trade, whether used for orchestral performances or educational clinics,’ Gardiner Houlgate says.

At the age of sixteen, Nigel Shipway enrolled at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he studied with James Blades OBE and Reginald Barker, who was at that time Principal Percussion with the Royal Opera House. On leaving the Royal Academy of Music he studied further with the American percussionist Bobby Christian in Chicago, USA.

Early professional experiences include substantial amounts of work with the Halle, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Welsh, Bournemouth, Northern Sinfonia, City of Birmingham, Welsh Opera and a wide variety of other regional orchestras.

As a guest Principal Percussionist he worked often with the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, English Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Johns and London Concert Orchestra. He was regular Principal Percussionist with National Symphony Orchestra, New London Orchestra and Showbiz Pops Orchestra.

Working in almost every musical genre, Shipway was also a successful session musician including a stint in the original run of Cats and playing on over 500 albums, TV (including Blackadder), radio, films and advertising jingles. He also played on the original recording of Torvill and Dean’s Bolero.


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