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.  AllAboutJazz.com 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 New York City-based Makrokosmos Orchestra, 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

Previous events

Date Event Location
Richard Nelson Imaginary Ensemble Blue, Portland Blue, Portland
 —  — “Our Big Band” - Music of Steve Grover, arr. by Nelson and several others. SPACE Gallery, Portland, ME 04101 SPACE Gallery, Portland, ME 04101
 —  — “Our Big Band” - Music of Steve Grover, arr. by Nelson and several others The Press Room, Portsmouth, NH 03801 The Press Room, Portsmouth, NH 03801
Resinosa Ensemble performs new RN work, others Olin Arts Center, Bates College, Lewiston, ME 04240 Olin Arts Center, Bates College, Lewiston, ME 04240
Richard Nelson Imaginary Ensemble Cadenza, Freeport, Maine Cadenza, Freeport, Maine
Makrokosmos Orchestra w/Band of Bones ShapeShifter Lab, Brooklyn, New York ShapeShifter Lab, Brooklyn, New York
Resinosa Ensemble performs new RN work, others Jewett Hall, University of Maine at Augusta, Augusta, Me Jewett Hall, University of Maine at Augusta, Augusta, Me
Resinosa Ensemble premieres RN work, others Corthell Hall, University of Southern Maine, Gorham, Maine Corthell Hall, University of Southern Maine, Gorham, Maine
With Aardvark Jazz Orchestra MIT Kresge Auditorium, Cambridge, MA MIT Kresge Auditorium, Cambridge, MA
Richard Nelson Imaginary Ensemble Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, Me Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, Me
With Aardvark Jazz Orchestra Emmanuel Church, Boston, MA Emmanuel Church, Boston, MA
Richard Nelson Imaginary Ensemble Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, Maine Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, Maine
With Aardvark Jazz Orchestra MIT Killian Hall, Cambridge, MA MIT Killian Hall, Cambridge, MA
Makrokosmos Orchestra ShapeShifter Lab, Brooklyn, New York ShapeShifter Lab, Brooklyn, New York
Richard Nelson Imaginary Ensemble Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, Me Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, Me
Richard Nelson Imaginary Ensemble Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, Me Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, Me
Performance of my trio "Ascent" at Back Cove Contemporary Music Festival Mechanics Hall, Portland, Maine Mechanics Hall, Portland, Maine
Postponed!! Makrokosmos Orchestra Sir D's Lounge, Brooklyn, NY Sir D's Lounge, Brooklyn, NY
New Music for Jazz Orchestra Kresge Auditorium @ MIT, Boston, MA Kresge Auditorium @ MIT, Boston, MA
Premiere of my "Ascent" for violin, cello, and piano University Of Maine Augusta - Jewett Auditorium, Augusta, ME University Of Maine Augusta - Jewett Auditorium, Augusta, ME