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IU Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Thursday, November 16, 2006

Jacobs School welcomes horn virtuoso Jeff Nelsen to its faculty

Nov. 16, 2006

Photo by: IU School of Music

Hornist Jeff Nelsen joins the faculty of the IU Jacobs School of Music.

Print-Quality Photo

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- With an already impressive and growing international career as a virtuoso performer, teacher, pedagogue and musical commentator, hornist Jeff Nelsen has been appointed Associate Professor of Music at the IU Jacobs School of Music, it was announced today (Nov. 16).

Nelsen is best known for his years as a member of the Canadian Brass (2000-2004). During that time, he performed hundreds of quintet recitals all over the world and was featured with numerous symphony orchestras, including those of Atlanta, Baltimore, Detroit, Houston, Minnesota, Philadelphia, Rotterdam, Seattle and St. Louis. He has held positions in the Montreal (1994-1995), Vancouver (1997-2000), and Winnipeg (1993) Symphony Orchestras and, most recently, performed in the horn sections of the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony and National Symphony.

"Jeff is an exciting choice for us," said Gwyn Richards, dean of the IU Jacobs School of Music. "The depth of his experience and the energy and passion he brings to his teaching, coupled with his blossoming performing career, will help our students prepare for their varied and demanding professional lives. He is a welcome addition to an already impressive brass department."

Brass Department Chair M. Dee Stewart, professor of trombones and euphonium, said Nelsen brings experience in areas of small ensemble and solo playing that are very important to the students' growth.

"In the current market place, the training he provides will be a great asset to IU brass students," Stewart said. "We are thrilled to have Jeff Nelsen join the school. We are all inspired by his drive and look forward to his many exciting pedagogical and performance activities."

Fellow faculty member Richard Seraphinoff agreed, "In addition to superb musicianship and teaching, Jeff brings an impressive level of energy and enthusiasm to the IU Jacobs School of Music. I look forward to a long and rewarding working relationship and friendship with him, and welcome him to the horn department."

To view a YouTube video of Jeff Nelsen with the Canadian Brass, courtesy of Opening Day, visit

Nelsen said the decision to permanently join the "esteemed brass faculty" of the IU Jacobs School of Music was an "easy one" to make.

"IU has a long history of excellent horn teaching; I welcome the opportunity to make a contribution to that fine reputation, and I am honored to call the members of this world-class faculty 'colleagues,'" he said. "Teaching the up-and-coming artists of tomorrow is the most fulfilling way to share artistry and is a true passion of mine. I look forward to performing and teaching at IU for many years to come. There is no better place for me and my wife, Nina, to make our home than right here in Bloomington. We could not be happier!"

As one of the most sought-after hornists throughout North America and abroad, Nelsen has performed on Broadway and toured with popular entertainers, including Michael Bolton, Donny Osmond, and Barry Manilow. He recently returned from appearances in England as the featured artist at the British Horn Society's Symposium in October 2006.

Nelsen's recordings embody a musical mosaic of genres, including chamber music, orchestral repertoire, film and television soundtracks, pop and jazz. He has recorded extensively on labels such as Sony, Warner, Blue Note, London/Decca, Disney, Summit Records and C.B.C. Records, and continues to attract rave reviews as a featured soloist on the Canadian Brass release "Magic Horn," which was nominated for the 2006 Juno Award (Canadian equivalent to the Grammy Award) for Best Classical Album of the Year: Solo or Chamber Ensemble.

Intensely active as a soloist, chamber musician and clinician, Nelsen has appeared as musician and mentor at numerous international music festival engagements, including Ravinia, Tanglewood, Blossom, Music Academy of the West, Banff, Las Vegas, Sewanee and St. Barthlélemy.

In addition, this Yamaha Performing Artist has recurring columns in the magazines for the International Horn Society and the British Horn Society, and his debut book publication, Fearless Auditioning, is due for release in early 2007.

He has been on faculty at the Universities of Toronto, British Columbia, and Victoria, as well as McGill University in Montreal, and has been widely praised for his unique teaching style.

Born and raised on a pig farm in rural Western Canada, Nelsen grew up surrounded by music. His parents are both accomplished opera singers. His eldest sister lives in England, where she is a freelance flutist, while his other sister plays bassoon with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Nelsen is also an enthusiastic magician and often adds touches of illusionary arts to his performances. His renowned teaching and performance skills are no illusion, however; although, they are certainly magical.

For more information about Jeff Nelsen, go to