Full Name: Brandon James Nelson
Date of Birth: May 21, 1982
Location of Birth: Ishpeming, MI, USA
Currently resides: Ishpeming, MI, USA (I’ve lived in Mount Pleasant, MI, Las Vegas, NV, and Hancock, MI too)
Credentials, Commissions, Performances, etc.: see my CV
Number of Pieces In Catalog: more than 50
Primary Media: concert band, orchestra, choir, chamber (none involving electronics at present)
Favored Styles/Methods: chance operations, nontraditional serial approaches, juxtaposition, quotation, timbre painting, ametric or “odd” meters, algorithms, contourism, miniature forms
General Musical and Aesthetic Inspiration: Zen, ancient music, J.S. Bach (incredible architecture in every creative aspect), medieval art, Morton Feldman (creates the world with virtually nothing), haiku, Olivier Messiaen (such potent rhythmic imagination), dry humor, mythology, history, Vincent Persichetti (intriguing ear for harmony), medicine, math, John Cage (finishing the creative liberation Debussy and Schoenberg started, for which I will remain in debt)
Other Professional Pursuits: writing books helpful to young composers and music educators, sounding board for colleagues, occasional compositional mentorship
Non-Musical Pastimes: full time charge nurse, dad, I read a lot
Champion of the Obscure and the Quirky
Brandon Nelson (b. 1982) is an American composer who invites listeners to explore the esoteric, the ephemeral, and other curios of existence from which he finds fertile creative ground. Embracing a wide palette of styles and methods, he is equally at home writing for students as for professionals. A prolific composer who is much sought-after for commissions, his compositions have been performed widely throughout the U.S. and Europe. He holds music degrees from Northern Michigan University and from Central Michigan University, where he studied under David Gillingham and Jose-Luis Maurtua. In addition to his numerous contributions to the chamber repertoire, he has composed widely for concert band, choir, and orchestra. He resides in rural Michigan and has three kids, a cats, and more books than seems appropriate.
Brandon Nelson (b. 1982 – Ishpeming, MI, USA) studied music education, horn, and composition at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI, receiving a Bachelor of Music Education degree summa cum laude in 2004. While in residence at NMU, Mr. Nelson was the recipient of the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra Young Composer’s Prize, was selected to present a composition in the prestigious Student Research and Creative Works Forum, had numerous pieces premiered by university and community ensembles, and was named Outstanding Graduating Senior from the Department of Music.
After graduating from college, Mr. Nelson moved on to graduate composition studies at Central Michigan Unversity in Mount Pleasant, MI. Under the guidance of master composers David Gillingham and Jose-Luis Maurtua, Mr. Nelson continued to distinguish himself as a top composer, including winning the Studio Prize for Orchestral Composition and beginning his career as a publishing composer with the publication of his Festival Suite for saxophone quartet.
Mr. Nelson worked for a number of years as a music teacher. He is presently focused on composing on commission and is employed as a Licensed Practical Nurse.
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