Jeff Nelsen

One of the many Canadian pig-farm-raised magician horn players in the world, Jeff Nelsen has thrilled audiences and mentored students for over twenty-five years. Having recently entered his ninth year touring and recording as solo horn with Canadian Brass, Jeff Nelsen has also performed concerti with orchestras on six continents, and in the horn sections of dozens of orchestras including the New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, and the Boston, Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Montreal Symphonies.  One thrilling event last summer was performing in Carnegie Hall as guest principal horn with the Philadelphia Orchestra and fellow Canadian, maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Jeff is Professor of Music (horn) at the prestigious Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he teaches full-time as a horn, chamber music, and performance coach. He is founder of Fearless Performance LLC, a company that focuses on training musicians and entrepreneurs to improve their mental game so they consistently perform their best. In 2011 he gave his celebrated TED Talk on Fearless Performance. A huge Broadway musical fan, Jeff played the complete run of two Broadway shows in NYC that were nominated for Tony awards – “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (Sherman Brothers) and “The Pirate Queen” (Boublil and Schönberg). Jeff has toured with Michael Bolton and Barry Manilow, has recorded with Michael Buble and the pop band “Barenaked Ladies”, and has performed on dozens of movie and video game soundtracks. Jeff most enjoys performing with his wife, mezzo-soprano Nina Yoshida Nelsen, on recital and orchestral pops series. Jeff was President of the International Horn Society from 2014-16. Jeff performs on his Dieter Otto 180 K-JN (Nelsen Model) horn he co-designed with German horn-maker Martin Ecker, and his mouthpiece he co-designed with Scott Laskey. He publishes a collection of sheet music through his company “Perform Music” and has upcoming releases of online video courses on “Beginner Horn Fundamentals” with The Musician’s Toolkit, and on “How to teach Fearless Performance” with The Royal Conservatory in Toronto.

Aside from creating musical magic, Jeff is an enthusiastic magician, and often adds touches of illusionary arts to performances. He is a magician member of the Academy of Magical Arts at the world famous Magic Castle in Los Angeles. His most magical time is spent with his enchanting wife, mezzo-soprano Nina Nelsen and their two spellbinding sons Rhys and Blair.

French Horn Player of the Canadian Brass
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