Matthew Nelson


Matthew Nelson is Assistant Professor of Clarinet at the University of Louisville, where he performs with the Louisville Winds woodwind quintet and the Grawemeyer Players contemporary music ensemble. He maintains an international profile as both performer and pedagogue, and in 2014 he was invited to give master classes and perform at the 2˚ Curso Internacional “Eduardo Ocón” in Málaga, Spain.

Prior to his appointment at the UofL, Nelson held the position of principal clarinet with the Utah Chamber Orchestra (Ballet West), and he performed regularly with the Utah Symphony/Utah Opera. He served on the faculty of Utah Valley University for five years, where he was a founding member of the critically acclaimed Alpine Chamber Winds woodwind quintet. He was a Nova Chamber Music Series artist from 2011 – 2014, and he also held an artist/faculty position at the Tuacahn Summer Symphonic Institute in St. George, UT. In 2013 he gave master classes and performed at the Instituto para el Desarrollo Musical in Castellón, Spain. Nelson’s frequent chamber music collaborations have reached enthusiastic audiences at the Schumann Festival, the Gentse Vleugels Festival, the Utah Music Festival, the Beethoven Festival Park City, and the Park City International Music Festival. He has also performed at the International Clarinet Association’s annual ClarinetFest in Baton Rouge, Assisi, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C.

An advocate of new music, Nelson has worked closely with many prominent contemporary composers, including Shulamit Ran, William O. Smith, Andrew Rathbun, Joël-François Durand, Bruce Quaglia, Morris Rosenzweig, Diane Thome, Dan Welcher, and Eric Flesher. In 2015 he gave the world premieres of Steve Rouse’s Ten Little Things with percussionist Greg Byrne and Daniel Gilliam’s Variations with the Kentucky Center Chamber Players.

Nelson completed his doctoral work in clarinet performance at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in 2009 with his thesis, Morton Feldman’s Clarinet Works: A Study Through the Words of the Note Man. He received a MM in clarinet performance and a BA with distinction in English from the University of 
Washington. His principal teachers include Michael Webster, William McColl, Richard Gellman, and Scott Wright.

“Matthew Nelson…infused the music with impressive energy and tremendous dexterity. Nelson’s command of his instrument’s wide dynamic range and his impeccable intonation contributed to a forceful performance…”
—Matt Dixon, for Reichel Recommends