Nik PrestonGroup Director/ChairmanTrinity College London/NPA
In addition to an international performance career with performance credits including Anastasia, Julian Lloyd-Webber, Imelda May, Fraser T Smith and Billy Cobham, Nik is a renowned business leader in both the education and creative industries. He is currently group director at Trinity College London, one of the UK’s oldest and largest awarding organisations, a trustee for the Royal Corps of Army Music, chairman at London-based talent management company NPA Management and a regular columnist for Future Publishing’s ‘Bass Player’ magazine.
As group director at Trinity, Nik leads publishing, content and commercial partnerships. With a footprint in over 60 countries and a reach of over 800k candidates per annum, Trinity delivers qualifications and publications across music, English language and the performing arts.
As chairman of NPA Management, Nik oversees an exclusive portfolio of services across the creative industries. NPA represents artists, performers, songwriters and producers who list clients such as Lady Gaga, Snoop Dogg, Rihanna, Stevie Wonder, Madonna, Alicia Keys, Rudimental, J-Lo, Jessie J, Seal, Yola, and Camila Cabello, Julian Lloyd-Webber, Imelda May, The British Army, Adidas, Rimmel, Nissan, Michelob, Max Factor, Target, Adidas and Twinings. The NPA roster is featured on Grammy winning and gold albums such as Lady Gaga’s ‘A Star Is Born’, Snoop Dogg’s ‘Bible Of Love’, Yola’s ‘Stand For Myself’, Rudimental’s ‘Ground Control’, JP Cooper’s ‘Raised Under Grey Skies’ and Netflix’s Bridgerton.
A transformative strategist in the education sector, Nik has created the world's first music production graded exam syllabus; launched the world’s first electronic music production degree; designed the first online assessment platform for a UK arts-based awarding organisation; authored over 100 books and designed multiple degree programmes.
He won a Perrier Young Jazz Musician award in 2001, was formerly the Director of Education/Principal of Guildford’s famous higher education institution, The Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM), Director of Academic Affairs and Publishing at RSL and is currently a committee member at the Music Publishers Association.
Nik has taught and mentored globally renowned musicians and artists including members of Lawson, Catfish and The Bottlemen, Ed Sheeran, Jess Glynne, The Yardbirds, Jack Savoretti, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and Jeff Beck.
Music industry trends and adoption
The advancements in digital technology, and the ensuing adoption in major markets, disrupted the music industry in a profound way at the advent of the digital revolution. With a somewhat entrenched industry choosing an approach which didn't factor disruption as a material threat, many were found wanting as global revenues were diminished and certain existing distribution models were rendered obsolete. Through an increased awareness of emerging formats, distribution models, and the subsequent rise of tech players in the publishing space, more contemporary approaches to both partnerships and licensing have played an increasing role in facilitating a new ecosystem which has given rise to improved margins and values in copyrights. What can the education publishing community learn from developments in the music industry in the digital age and what challenges and opportunities may this give rise to in a post-Covid environment?