- Jason Eagan, Ars Nova
"Nikos Tsakalakos is the next big thing in musical songwriting."
- Milton Bass, The Berkshire Eagle
"I look forward to more from this gifted composer."
- Bob Verini, New York Stage
"Niko continues to be recognized as one to watch for his distinct sound and proven skill."
- Jason Eagan, Ars Nova
"There are few writers I've met who rose to the occassion with the same relish and fearlessness as Niko Tsakalakos and Janet Allard."
- William Finn, Tony Award Winning Composer
"Niko is a pop writer at heart with an incredible knack for complex lyrics and storytelling."
- Rob Broadhurst, Composer/Author
Niko Tsakalakos is a composer-lyricist who straddles the rock/pop and theatre world. Originally from New Brunswick, New Jersey, Niko cut his teeth on the LA circuit as drummer/lead vocalist in his indie-rock band Saint Friday. Back on the east coast, Niko spends most of his creative life writing musicals.
His apocalyptic, climate-change musical comedy, Fall Springs, appeared in the 2017 NAMT Festival of New Musicals and received its world premiere on the mainstage at Barrington Stage Company [BSC] in August 2019. His new folk-rock musical, Off the Map (working title), based on the true story of Christopher McCandless, was produced at Encore Musical Theatre in Michigan, and has been developed by Playwrights Horizons, Goodspeed Musicals, Rhinebeck Writers Colony, Perseverance Theatre and Berkeley Repertory Theater’s Ground Floor. His autobiographical pop-rock musical, Pool Boy, premiered at BSC, along with productions in the West Village’s Provincetown Playhouse, and Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera’s Spark Festival. He composed music for the play with songs, Litter, that premiered at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. Most recently, Niko was commissioned by a Broadway producer to write a new Brooklyn-based musical, to be announced soon.
Niko has hosted and performed in various of his cabarets at major New York venues such as Birdland, Joe’s Pub, Ars Nova, 54 Below, the Zipper Factory, and Lincoln Center. He scored the film Rock, Paper, Scissors: The Way of the Tosser (Alliance Films) and writes lyrics for video game music. His work is featured in various anthologies and he has received numerous awards including Sundance Institute Composer Fellow, Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed, Jonathan Larson Grant and Kleban Prize in Musical Theatre Finalist, Ars Nova's Uncharted Series and AntFest, ASCAP Plus Award, Vineyard Arts Project, NAMT Writers Grant, Playwrights Center Writing Grant and the Barry Manilow Writing Lyrics that Succeed and Endure award.
He has an MFA from NYU’s Tisch where he studied under two-time Tony award winner, William Finn.