Zach Nicely is the Founder and Music Director of Press Start, a New York orchestra dedicated to programming video game music in conjunction with classical favorites. The organization’s mission is to build a new audience for the symphony from the gaming community while elevating game music to orchestral canon. Zach was a student conductor with the Western Michigan University Symphony Orchestra in 2018-2019, conducting throughout southwest Michigan and on tour in the Midwest. His passion is creating performance opportunities for musicians and reaching new audiences with the orchestra, hosting a series of masterwork readings for the public outside of his formal concert schedule. While in Michigan, Zach organized and conducted an interactive rehearsal and concert, The Smash Experiment, featuring an orchestra playing video game scores in real time as audiences played the games themselves. He was awarded Western Michigan University’s Signature Designation in Leadership for this performance.
Zach recently served as Music Director with Killer Queen Opera in New York City where he directed the music for a digital performance of Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione di Poppea, slated to perform live in the Summer of 2021. This coming year Zach will also appear with the Litha Symphony Orchestra for select performances as an assistant conductor and at the Orchestra Conducting Symposium at University of Colorado Boulder.