NELSON, BRIAN J. ( b. 1967)

Brian J. Nelson was born in Madison, Wisconsin, in 1967. He received his Bachelor of Composition from the University of Michigan in 1990 and earned a Masters Degree in Composition at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2000. He is a composer of sacred music as well as chamber and orchestral works.
Commissions include "Tabernaculae Dei" (SSAA), "How Lonely Sits the City" (Solo Tenor Vocal), "Psalm 100" (SATB, Recorder and Piano), "Lyric" (Piano Solo) and "Just Yesterday" (Soprano Vocal Solo and Piano). "In the Beginning Was the Word," a theological tone poem in one movement, was read by the Minnesota Orchestra, Scott Terrell, Associate Conductor, as part of the annual Perfect Pitch Orchestral Reading Sessions.
Brian is a committed Catholic and is known for his cheerful, professional approach. He looks forward to responding to opportunities to compose music in any idiom or level of difficulty. He works well with professionals, amateurs and young people and feels a particularly strong commitment to local cultural life.In September 2007, he began pursuing doctoral studies in composition at Lawrence, Kansas.
Publications available from Alliance Publications, Inc. are:
"Vocalise" - Solo Cello - AP-00482
"Vocalise" for Solo Cello, written in 1997, was dedicated to his father, Don Nelson. Brian has always been in love with the poignant beauty of the cello. From the wonderful Bach Cello Suites to the Sonata and Concertos of Dimitri Shostakovitch, the cello has always captured his musical imagination. The title, "Vocalise," refers to the innate expressive quality of the instrument and the lyrical, flowing nature of the music itself.
"Psalm 100" - SATB/Soprano Recorder/Piano - AP-01262
"Psalm 100" was commissioned by Irmgard Bittar for the 1999 dedication of the new sanctuary of the Lutheran Church of the Living Christ in Madison, Wisconsin. The piece begins with bold, clanging piano chords followed quickly by a fanfare with the full choir. Slowly, the piano rhythms subside to a mere accompaniment as the rest of the piece unfolds. The overall form of the piece is that of an inverted arch, bold and strong from the beginning and winding down to perfect stillness in the middle as a single, lost sheep (personified by the soprano soloist) comes to rest on the words "and the sheep of his hand." From here to the end, the music gathers speed and strength, returning to the bold character of the beginning and finishing with a rousing "Amen."
"Truly, Truly" - AP-01263 - SATB CHOIR
The text for the motet, "Truly, Truly, I Say to You," is taken from John 12:24-25a and is emblematic of the Christian life: "Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit." The words of Jesus continue with the great paradox of the Christian faith as exemplified by Christ's death and resurrection: "He/she who loves his/her life shall lose it: he/she who hates his/her life in this world shall keep it for eternal life." In addition to full-choir passages, the piece features several solos which call to mind the peripatetic (itinerant) style of Jesus' teaching.