Jon Nelson

Jon Nelson.

Jon Nelson

Jon Nelson

Associate Department Chair
Professor (Trumpet)
Director, UB Concert Band
Director, Genkin Philharmonic
Director, Concert Committee


MusB, The Juilliard School


Assistant Professor of the State University of New York at Buffalo, and UB's Brass Area Coordinator, Jon Nelsonmaintains an active career as performer, producer and collaborator. He is a founding member of the internationally recognized Meridian Arts Ensemble, and has collaborated with numerous contemporary composers, most notably Milton Babbitt and Frank Zappa.

Jon has been instrumental in the commissioning of over sixty new works for trumpet in various ensembles, and his arrangements have been performed and recorded by the Cologne Stadt Ballet, Atlantic Brass Quintet, Lake George Opera, Ethos Percussion Quartet, Lark Quartet, and Dweezil Zappa. He is also the founder of The Consortium for New Trumpet Music, which seeks to create new music for trumpet in a variety of contexts, and is the Managing Director of Blue Bison Music.

With the Meridian Arts Ensemble, he records exclusively for Channel Classics and 8bells Records. As an independent artist, he has produced two solo recordings for 8bells Records; Gran Calavera Electrica and Metalofonico!. He is currently producing a series of compact disc recordings for 8bells that feature contemporary and newly commissioned works for brass. He can be heard on over 30 other recordings with various ensembles.

He served as Principal Trumpet for the Festival Orchestra d'Aix en Provence in France under the direction of Pierre Boulez (2000), and the Mineria Festival Orchestra in Mexico City (1998). Jon has also appeared with the Baltimore Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

Active in the field of education, he has recently performed and taught numerous festivals including the Meridian Seminar @ ECU, Bar Harbor Brass Week, Wellesley Composers Conference, Atlantic Brass Seminar, June in Buffalo, and the Festival Centro Historico in Mexico City. He has presented numerous masterclasses in the US, Holland, Germany, Belgium, Taiwan, Mexico, Colombia, Cuba, and Costa Rica. He currently is Teacher of Trumpet at Princeton University, and has also taught at Boston University, Hartt College, and Middlebury College.

Jon is also active as a freelance musician in the New York City area. He has appeared in Broadway orchestra pits ofChicagoFiddler on the Roof42nd St.NineMan of LaManchaThe King and ICamelot, and Crazy for You. He was also a member of the Tom Pierson Orchestra, and the Kirk Nurock Big Band. Most recently, Jon has also been a co-curator of FONT – the Festival of New Trumpet Music, a month long festival of contemporary trumpet music in New York City.

Jon Nelson holds a BM from The Juilliard School where he studied with Mark Gould.

Information about Jon Nelson's performing activities can be found at

Selected Compositions

Dream of Miles
brass quintet and percussion

brass quintet and percussion

Fanfare for Nothing
brass quintet and percussion

Paterson 2:35
brass quintet and percussion

Song for a Dead King
brass quintet, voice, and percussion

Point of Origin
drum set solo

Selected Recordings

Song for a Dead King

Meridian Arts Ensemble
Jon Nelson, composer
from the CD Prime Meridian
Channel Classics CCS 8195

We Need to Dream All This Again

Jerome Kitzke, composer
from the CD The Character of American Sunlight
Koch International Classics 3-7456-2 H1

Madrigal: Io Pur Respiro

Meridian Arts Ensemble
Carlo Gesualdo di Venosa, composer
from the CD Visions of the Renaissance
Channel Classics CCS 6594