Jeff Nelsen

World-renowned horn player, educator, and fearless performance coach Jeff Nelsen has an obvious and contagious passion for dynamic engagements. Jeff’s pig-farming, opera-singing parents provided him with a wide palate of career choices and a diverse background from which to tell his story.

Jeff came to his fearless performance concepts honestly. He has been the solo hornist of the world’s most famous brass group, Canadian Brass, as well as a member of the Montreal and Vancouver Symphonies. He has performed as a soloist on five continents, on Broadway, and has toured with Barry Manilow and Michael Bolton. Jeff has performed in the horn sections of the New York Philharmonic, Boston, National, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis Symphonies, and on numerous film soundtracks.

Prior to joining the faculty of the prestigious Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2006, Jeff was on faculty at the Universities of Toronto, British Columbia, Victoria, and McGill in Montreal.  Sought after as an inspirational and innovative educator, Professor Nelsen has taught at multiple summer music festivals including Music Academy of the West (USA), Melbourne International Festival of Brass (Australia), Hamamatsu Academy (Japan), Orford (Canada), Belgium Brass Festival (Belgium), and the BeBrassy Festival (Holland). Jeff has been invited to guest lecture to Bands of America, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and the International and British Horn Societies. He has also presented at IdeaCity, Toronto and to the Young Presidents’ Organization.

Mr. Nelsen, who is a Yamaha performing artist and clinician, enjoys mentoring young performers. He has been a juror at the Fischoff Chamber Music competition and the Yamaha Young Performing Artist Competition.  He has recurring articles focusing on “Fearless Performance” published in the magazines for the International Horn Society, British Horn Society, and Drum Corps International.  Jeff hosts his annual summer seminar, “Fearless Performance for Musicians” at Indiana University.

Jeff freely admits that the sheer terror of upcoming solo moments has never stopped lurking in his mind. Surrendering to this fact, Jeff decides to give his best in performance anyway, regardless of the potentially scary influences surrounding him. Jeff has become an expert in teaching people how to perform their best by replacing fear with focus on better things.  Today’s society is full of messages that perpetuate fear, and Jeff’s witty and wise approach offers a refreshing alternative.

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