Nicholas Fairbank was born in New Westminster, BC. In his school years he studied piano, organ and French horn, later going on to study organ performance and conducting in London (UK) and Paris (France). He holds Associateship diplomas in organ performance from the Royal Conservatory (RCM gold medal 1981) and the RCCO (Willan Prize 1998) and Masters degrees from UCSB (French), the Université de Paris VIII (musicology). After some composition lessons with Stephen Chatman in the 90s he went on to complete an MMus degree in composition at the University of Victoria under the direction of John Celona.
Since the mid-90s Mr. Fairbank has been based in Victoria BC where he is active in the local choral community as a director of 3 choirs. He is also on the faculty of the Victoria Conservatory of Music where he teaches organ and harpsichord.
While many of his recent compositions have been choral, he writes for many instruments and ensembles. Recent projects have been inspired by participation in residency programmes in far-reaching parts of the world, e.g. Svalbard, Norway in 2012 where he wrote Isbjørn! and the Peruvian Amazon in 2015 from which came Canción amazónica.