One of the many Canadian pig-farm-raised magician horn player professors in the world, Jeff Nelsen has thrilled audiences and mentored students for over thirty years. Having recently entered his fourteenth year touring and recording 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, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Chicago, Boston, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Montreal Symphonies. His latest performances with the Chicago Symphony in 2023 was of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone…way too much fun!
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. He partnered with Dr. Katy Webb to create Elevate! – a thriving online Fearless Performance based course collective and performance community. 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 including the game Halo. Jeff most enjoys performing with his wife, mezzo-soprano Nina Yoshida Nelsen, on recital and orchestral pops series. A former President of the International Horn Society (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.
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.