Nikolai New was born in England and grew up in Hong Kong, where he began his cello studies at an early age with the American cellist Jay Humeston. At the age of seventeen he moved to Berlin to further his studies there. In 1984 he was invited to perform at the Aspen Music Festival and subsequently continued his studies in the USA with Zara Nelsova (cello) and the LaSalle Quartet (chamber music).
Selected by Lord Yehudi Menuhin in 1985 to tour and record with the Camarata Lysy Gstaad, he was a member of the International Menuhin Music Academy and attended regular master classes with Radu Aldulescu, Pierre Fournier, Boris Pergamenschikow and David Geringas.
In 1987 he was invited to become a member of the Kammerakademie Neuss, performing at various festivals all over Europe. At the same time he attended master classes with members of the Amadeus quartet and also completed his cello studies with Johannes Goritzki at the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf, from where he graduated in 1991.
Since then he has been cellist of the Haydn Quartet in Austria. He has performed in nearly every country of Europe, North and South America as well as Asia. Nikolai New has participated in numerous festivals, including the Internationale Haydntage and Con Anima in Austria, the Festival Ouvertüre France-Autriche in France, the Ballades Musicales Europaennes and Festival Flandern in Belgium, the Schleswig Holstein Festival in Germany, the Festival Internacional Cervantino and Festival de Tepotzlan in Mexico and the Macau International Music Festival.
He had his Carnegie Hall debut performing chamber music on a highly praised American tour in 1998. Visits to China have included concerts in the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing, as well as concerts in Shenzhen Tianjin, Macau and Hong Kong. In addition to recordings with the Camerata Lysy Gstaad and the Kammerakakdemie Neuss, he has recorded for Austrian Radio and television (ORF), Bartok Hungary and Zagreb Radio. He regularly produces CDs with the Haydn Quartet, including recordings in of contemporary music for the German Music Council on the Wergo label. The latest recording will be released in late 2014 on the Gramola label.