Welcome to the official site for American Composer Brian J. Nelson. On this site you can learn about his work as a composer, purchase recordings, inquire about sheet music and explore the possibility of commissioning a work.

Brief Biography

Steeped in a deeply rooted music tradition,  informed by faith, and inspired by contemporary melody and tonality, Brian J. Nelson communicates timeless messages in a dialect that is universally understood. In his own words, “music itself is a language, with a vocabulary and a content, fully capable of communicating a message of truth by way of beauty.” It is this truth that Brian seeks, and delivers, in his compositions. Brian is the Director of Music and Sacred Liturgy at St. Lawrence Catholic Campus Center in Lawrence, KS. He composes commissioned sacred and classical works for voice and instruments across a wide variety of genres. He also teaches composition and theory, and offers lectures for academic and public audiences.

Born in Madison, Wisconsin, Brian received his Doctor of Musical Composition degree from the University of Kansas, where he studied with James Barnes. He earned his Master’s degree in Composition from the University of Wisconsin, and his Bachelor of Composition degree from the University of Michigan, having studied under William Bolcom, Willam Albright, and Nick Thorne.

A devoted Catholic and prolific composer, Brian has published his music on four CDs: Vocalise – Vocal and Instrumental Music of Brian J. Nelson, Responsorial Psalms for Advent and Christmas, On a Musical Journey, and The Reconciliation – Vocal Music of Brian J. Nelson. In addition to his extensive output of music for the Mass and the Divine Office (the official, daily prayer of the Catholic Church), Brian has composed art songs and major works for voice, instrumental ensembles, and orchestra, and was the orchestrator for Tony winner Mark Holman’s musical The Girl, The Grouch and The Goat, which has appeared around the country.

Nelson’s sacred music catalogue has recently been picked up by International Liturgy Publications and is being prepared for publication. His Vocalise for Solo Cello, Truly, Truly I Say to You and Psalm 100 are available from Alliance Publications.


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