After having been a student in mathematics at the Leiden University, Nico van der Meel decided to become a professional musician. He initially studied choral conducting at the Rotterdam Conservatory with professor Barend Schuurman, but from 1982 he studied singing with professor Margreet Honig. He concluded his studies cum laude in 1987, after which he took part in masterclasses with Evelyn Lear, Ruud van der Meer, Robert Holl, Elly Ameling and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. He has been invited as a teacher to several international summer courses and served as a guest teacher at nearly all conservatories in the Netherlands.
As a singer Nico van der Meel performed with conductors such as Nikolaus Harnoncourt, John Eliot Gardiner, Gustav Leonhardt, Peter Schreier, Jan Willem de Vriend, Jos van Veldhoven, Helmuth Rilling, Michel Corboz, Sir Colin Davis and Frans Brüggen. Although he became internationally known for his performances of the role of Evangelist in J.S.Bach’s Passions, he has a broad concert repertoire, including music from the 15th to the 21th century. In the years 1989 to 1996 he took part in concert tours and recordings of Bach’s Mass in B minor and – as Evangelist – in Bach’s St.John Passion and St.Matthew Passion by the Orchestra of the 18th Century conducted by Frans Brüggen for Philips Classics. Apart from various early music he recorded CD’s with early songs by Hugo Wolf and with songs by the Dutch composers Johannes Verhulst, Leander Schlegel and Constantijn Huygens.
Nico van der Meel is a leading member of the ensemble Camerata Trajectina, which is recognized as a major advocate for Dutch music of the 16th and 17th century. He contributed to nearly 40 CD’s of this ensemble. He also made reconstructions of incomplete 16th century music and edited those in cooperation with prof. dr. Louis Peter Grijp. He is the artistic leader of the Drechtsteden Bachkoor and conducts the William Byrd Vocal Ensemble in his hometown Leiden for 40 years.