About the Composer

Niko D. Schroeder’s artistic practices reflect his Midwestern (U.S.) upbringing through rugged joy, unpretentious transparency, and wry humor. Influenced by an adolescence split between traditional chamber ensembles and basement-dwelling rock bands, his works pass familiar forms and figures through minimalistic processes—complicating the mundane and embellishing the austere. He often draws on extramusical elements to illustrate issues of environment, identity, and perception. He is most himself when working with others.

Niko’s collaborative spirit is also reflected in his work as a bandleader, arts administrator, educator, and audio engineer. He has toured with rock, jazz, folk, and contemporary classical ensembles in many capacities. Cherished projects include forthcoming solo outfit Niko & his 10,000 lb. Flying Machine, polka quartet The Bierkeller Boys Oompah Band, and past endeavors like indie-pop band The Lake Effects and folk/classical quintet Waiting for Niko. Other performers of his music include Sō Percussion, Alarm Will Sound, the Sinta QuartetInvoke, Khemia Ensemble, the Grand Valley State New Music Ensemble, and members of Fifth House Ensemble. His work as a composer, performer, and engineer can be heard on Innova Recordings, Klavier, and slashsound.

Niko holds a Master of Music from the University of Missouri, Columbia, where he served as an instructor and sound engineer and was awarded the 2019 Sinquefield Prize, the university’s highest honor for a composer. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts from Grand Valley State University, where he was twice named Composer of the Year, won the concerto competition with his future wife Julia, and was awarded the Glenn A. Niemeyer Award—the highest distinction for student contributions to the university.

He is pursuing an Artist Certificate at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague, living in the Netherlands with his spouse and their two cats—Johnny Cash and June Carter. He is one of few full-time artists to co-own a professional sports organization.