My story begins on a pig farm in Western Canada with opera singing pig farming parents. Unable to escape singers, I married mezzo-soprano Nina Yoshida Nelsen. These strong vocal influences helped me develop my signature sound and a singing approach to my teaching and horn playing. In addition to all this music stuff, I am a very enthusiastic magician. I love to add touches of illusionary arts to my performances. You'll find little hints and references to my interest in magic throughout jeffnelsen.com.
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As an internationally acclaimed performing artist I've had the opportunity to perform for audiences around the world for nearly two decades! It's been fun and really exciting. I've met amazing people and performed with world renowned musicians at the New York Philharmonic, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Houston, and National Symphonies, Philadelphia and Minnesota Orchestras, and the Canadian and New York City Opera Companies. I've completed two runs on Broadway and toured with popular entertainers including Michael Bolton and Barry Manilow.
For eight fantastic years I toured and recorded as the hornist for world famous Canadian Brass before setting out as a soloist performing concerti with orchestra, and delivering engaging recitals on five continents. In March, 2018 I rejoined the Canadian Brass as their hornist and look forward to an exciting future with them.
I also love teaching. I've been doing for twenty years. In my role as Professor of Horn at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, I teach horn, coach chamber music, and mentor people using “Fearless Performance” approaches and techniques.