Nick Harmsen was born in Tasmania in 1979. He learned clarinet with the two clarinet players in the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Chris Waller and Duncan Abercrombie.
After 18 years in Tasmania Nick moved to Canberra in 1998 to study at the A.N.U with Alan Vivian and completed a bachelor of music with first class honours. During his time at the Canberra School of Music, Nick travelled to Sydney regularly to play with Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra.
Nick was principal clarinet in Australian Youth Orchestra between 1998 and 2000. He performed as a woodwind finalist in the Young Performers Competition with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra in 2003. Nick also played numerous other concerts with Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. Nick has been a full time member of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra since 2006.