Nicholas Villalobos

Nicholas Villalobos – Simply Three


Nicholas Villalobos has been passionate about playing the bass since age eleven. His first exposure to string instruments was at age eight with the violin, however, after seeing the bass just before his sixth grade year, he fell in love and never looked back.

He studied with Barry Olson, principal bass of the Phoenix Symphony Orchestra, from sixth grade to his high school graduation. Nicholas has performed with the World Youth Symphony Orchestra (at Interlochen Arts Academy), the National Honors High School Orchestra, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute Orchestra, the Arizona State University Symphony, the Phoenix Symphony, the Utah Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestra at Temple Square (frequently accompanying the Mormon Tabernacle Choir).

As a soloist, Nicholas has performed concertos with the Phoenix Symphony, Tempe Symphony, Scottsdale Baroque Orchestra, the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra, and the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra.

Also he has won the Clotilde Otranto Prize in the Phoenix Symphony Guild Young Musicians Competition, first prize at the American String Teachers Association Auday-Giormenti Double Bass Competition, first place in the Arizona Bass Festival Competition. He has been a finalist in the Arizona State University Concerto Competition as well as the 2011 International Society of Bassists Solo Competition where he received an award for the best performance of the required modern piece “Celestial Dance,” by Rufus Reid. In 2012, Nicholas also won first prize in the college strings division of the Coeur d’Alene Symphony National Young Artists Competition. Recently, Nicholas was awarded third place in the distinguished Sphinx Competition held annually in Detroit, Michigan – and which aired live on Detroit Public Television this February. View here to watch.

In 2012, Nicholas graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in bass performance studying under world-renowned bass soloist Catalin Rotaru. Following graduation, Nicholas toured the United States with the Sphinx Virtuosi Orchestra, a conductorless ensemble that consists of alumni from the Sphinx Competition. Inspired by the student outreach involved in the Sphinx Virtuosi tour, and along with select few from the same group, Nicholas co-founded the ensemble Alkali. This all-string chamber group has performed concerts and volunteered time for student outreach in Baltimore (where he received an individual award in excellence from the Maryland General Assembly), Houston and throughout the island of Curaçao. Nicholas has also been selected as one of the newest Eastman Strings’ Artists.

You can learn more about Nicholas and Simply Three at