Short Bio


Composer/guitarist Richard Nelson is recognized for his skillful and original integrations of contemporary classical and jazz composition and performance practices.  His works have been performed by ensembles such as ALEA III, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, and Speculum Musicae, at venues including the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Miller Theater, the University of Cape Town (South Africa), and numerous other U.S. festivals and universities.  He has received fellowships and awards from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, the Charles Ives Center, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, among others. As a guitarist, he has performed widely and with many notable figures at festivals, clubs, colleges and other venues across the U.S. and abroad. called him "an ambitious and daring composer," praising his most recent CD Pursuit as "a distinctive synthesis of modern jazz, and contemporary orchestral music."  A major current project is a collection of compositions for the soon-to-debut New York City-based large ensemble Pursuit, undertaken with co-leader Tim O'Dell.  Nelson studied composition at Indiana with Donald Erb (M.M.) and at Columbia with Mario Davidovsky (D.M.A.).  He was Visiting Artist at the University of Cape Town in 2004.   He is a Professor of Music and head of the Sonic Arts and Composition Concentration at the University of Maine at Augusta.

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Upcoming Shows

  • Jan 31
    Cadenza,  Freeport