John Nelson

Biography

Born: December 6, 1941; San José, Costa Rica  
The American conductor John Wilton Nelson was born the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor, to American missionaries living in Costa Rica. He grew up with considerable exposure to religious vocal music. He is still most strongly identified with his interest in, and performance of, major choral-orchestral sacred music masterworks of the Western musical tradition.

He studied in Orlando, FL, and at Wheaton College in Illinois, then took
Read more conducting from Jean Morel at the Juilliard School in New York. While there, he won the Irving Berlin Award for conducting. He worked primarily in New York, in a variety of freelance jobs (including conducting on some of Peter Schickele's "P.D.Q. Bach" performances on the Vanguard Records label).

One of his notable accomplishments was organizing and conducting the New York concert premiere of the immense opera Les Troyens by Hector Berlioz, one of the composers he most deeply admires. He had already made his opera-conducting debut at the New York City Opera, in 1972, with Carmen. The success of his Troyens performance led to an immediate engagement to conduct it at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, in 1973. He also conducted the American premiere of Benjamin Britten's Owen Wingrave at Santa Fe.

In 1976, he was appointed music director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. During his tenure there, the orchestra became a full-time (52 weeks a year) organization. Nelson returned the orchestra to recording (on the New World label) and led its move to the intimate Circle Theater (now Hilbert Circle Theater) in the city's center. He is credited with improving the orchestra's ensemble and sound.

In 1979, he also became associated with the Opera Theater of Saint Louis, and in 1983 was appointed music director of the Caramoor Festival. After a dangerous illness in the mid-'80s, he gave up all these positions (in 1987, 1991, and 1990, respectively) and transferred his major activities to Europe, where he gained a reputation as a major operatic conductor, especially following a highly praised recording of Benvenuto Cellini in Lyons, in 1989.

He has conducted many of the leading symphony orchestras of the world, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Saint Louis, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Boston, and San Francisco Symphonies, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Dresden Staatskapelle, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, Orchestre de Paris, the Oslo Philharmonic, and the orchestras of Stockholm, Rotterdam, Stuttgart, and Cologne. As an opera conductor, he has appeared at the Chicago Lyric Opera and the opera houses of Rome, Geneva, and Paris. His operatic repertory is wide, ranging from Handel to contemporary opera. In the concert hall, he conducts the great choral masterworks of Bach, as well as new works, including Takemitsu's I Hear the Water Dreaming, and Paul Schoenfeld's Deborah, which he premiered.

John Nelson has recorded frequently, including acclaimed recordings of Berlioz's Beatrice et Benedict, and Handel's Semele (a Grammy award winner). He has formed an organization to raise money and commission new major sacred choral-orchestral works, redressing, he says, the secular emphasis of twentieth-century music. Schoenfeld, Henryck Gorecki, Christopher Rouse, Oswaldo Golijov, and Augusta Reed Thomas are among the composers the organization, Soli Deo Gloria Inc., has commissioned.

In 1998, he accepted the position of music director of the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, a 14-week a year commitment that will enable him to pursue his operatic and other conducting projects. Read less

There are 53 John Nelson recordings available.

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Biography

Born: December 6, 1941; San José, Costa Rica  
The American conductor John Wilton Nelson was born the day before the attack on Pearl Harbor, to American missionaries living in Costa Rica. He grew up with considerable exposure to religious vocal music. He is still most strongly identified with his interest in, and performance of, major choral-orchestral sacred music masterworks of the Western musical tradition.

He studied in Orlando, FL, and at Wheaton College in Illinois, then took
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WORKS ALBUMS
TITLE/COMPOSER
LABEL
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): Overture (1826): Allegro di molto
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): Scherzo: Allegro vivace
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): ACT II, Scene 1: How now spirit - L'istesso tempo - Allegro vivace - Ill met by moonlight
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): ACT 2, Scene 2: Come, now a roundel - Song with chorus: You spotted snake - Allegro ma non troppo
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): What thou seest - Andante
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): Intermezzo : Allegro appassionato - Allegro molto comodo
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): ACT III, Scene I: Come, sit down - Allegro - What hempen home-spuns
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): ACT III, Scene 2: I wonder if Titania be awaked
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): Nocturne : Con moto tranquillo
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): ACT IV, Scene I: Welcome good Robin
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): Wedding March
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): ACT V, Scene I: Come now, what masques - Allegro comodo; Marcia funebre : Andante c
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): A Dance of Clowns : Allegro di molto - The iron tounge of midnight - Allegro vivace come prima
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): Now the hungry lion roars
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): Finale : Allegro di molto - Through the house
1. Rambling Till the Butcher cuts us down
2. Senility's ride
3. Elegy
4. Dog Heaven
1. Overture
2. Bear dance
3. Klezmers
4. Sketches
5. Carmen Rivera
I. Adagio molto - Allegro con brio
II. Andante cantabile con moto
III. Menuetto - Allegro molto e vivace
IV. Adagio - Allegro molto
I. Adagio molto - Allegro molto
II. Larghetto
III. Scherzo
IV. Allegro molto
I. Allegro con brio
II. Marcia funebre: Adagio assai
III. Scherzo: Allegro vivace
IV. Finale: Allegro molto
I. Adagio - Allegro vivace
II. Adagio
III. Menuetto: Allegro vivace
IV. Allegro ma non troppo
I. Allegro con brio
II. Andante con moto
III. Allegro
IV. Allegro
I. Awakening of Cheerful Feelings Upon Arrival in the Country: Allegro ma non troppo
II. Scene by the Brook: Andante molto mosso
III. Merry Gathering of Country Folk: Allegro
IV. Thunderstorm: Allegro
V. Shepherd's Song: Happy and Thankful Feelings after the Storm: Allegretto
I. Poco sostenuto - Vivace
II. Allegretto
III. Presto, assai meno presto
IV. Allegro con brio
I. Allegro vivace e con brio
II. Allegretto scherzando
III. Tempo di menuetto
IV. Allegro vivace
I. Allegro ma non troppo, un poco maestoso
II. Molto vivace
III. Adagio molto e cantabile - Andante moderato
IV. Finale: Presto -
IV. Recitativo - Prestissimo
Clarinet Concerto in A major K622: I Allegro
Mozart: Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K. 622: II. Adagio
Clarinet Concerto in A major K622: III Rondo (Allegro)
Horn Concerto No. 4 in E flat major K495: I. Allegro moderato
Horn Concerto No. 4 in E flat major K495: II. Romance (Andante)
Horn Concerto No. 4 in E flat major K495: III. Rondo (Allegro vivace)
Benvenuto Cellini: Overture (Paris 1 version)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 1 - Premier Tableau, Scene 1: Introduction - Teresa!...mais ou peut elle etre (Balducci/Teresa)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 1 - Premier Tableau, Scene 1: Air - Ne regardez jamais la lune (Balducci)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 1 - Premier Tableau, Scene 1: Choeur de masques - Enfin il est sorti (Teresa/Balducci/Cellini/Choeur)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 1 - Premier Tableau, Scene 2: Récit - Les bells fleurs!... (Teresa)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 1 - Premier Tableau, Scene 2: Romance - Ah! que l'amour une fois dans le coeur (Teresa)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 1 - Premier Tableau, Scene 2: Romance - Heureuse celle à qui jamais l'amour (Teresa)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 1 - Premier Tableau, Scene 3: Cellini! Teresa! ne fuyez pas (Teresa/Cellini)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 1 - Premier Tableau, Scene 3: Trio - O mon bonheur, vous que j'aime (Cellini/Fieramosca/Teresa)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 1 - Premier Tableau, Scene 3: Trio - Ah! mourir, chère et belle (Cellini/Fieramosca/Teresa)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 1 - Premier Tableau, Scene 4, 5, & 6: Récitatif - Ciel! Nous sommes perdus (Teresa/Cellini/Fieramosca/Balducci)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 1 - Premier Tableau, Scene 4, 5, & 6: Final - A nous voisines et servantes! (Teresa/Fieramosca/Baldicci)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 1 - Premier Tableau, Scene 7: Final - Ah, ah maitre drole, ah libertin (Choeur/Teresa/Fieramosca/Balducci)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 1 - Deuxieme Tableau, Scene 8 bis: A boire, a boire! (Cellini/Fraancesco/Bernardino/Choeur)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 1 - Deuxieme Tableau, Scene 8 bis: Chant des cisleurs - Si la terre aux beaux jours se couronne (Cellini/Francesco/Bernadino/Choeur)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 1 - Deuxieme Tableau, Recit et Scene 9: Amis, avant qu'on recommence (Bernadino/Choeur/Cabaretier/Cellini/Francesco/Ascanio)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 1 - Deuxieme Tableau, Scene 10: Air - Cette somme t'est due (Ascanio/Cellini/Bernadino/Choeur)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 1 - Deuxieme Tableau, Scene 10: Ecoutez, tout a l'heure... (Les mêmes)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 1 - Deuxieme Tableau, Scene 11: Récitatif - C'est trop fort! (Fieramosca/Pompeo)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 1 - Deuxieme Tableau, Scene 11: Air - Ah! Qui pourrait me résister? (Fieramosca)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 1 - Deuxieme Tableau, Scene 11: Récitatif - Viens, le temps passe (Fieramosca/Pompeo)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 2 - Troisieme Tableau, Scene 6: Ah! ça Démon (Teresa/Cellini/Fieramosca/Le Pape/Balducci)
Benvenuto Cellini, Act 2 - Troisieme Tableau, Final: Ah! Maintenant de sa folle impudence (Teresa/Ascanio/Cellini/Fieramosca/Le Pape/Balducci/Choeur)
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): Scherzo: Allegro vivace
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): ACT II, Scene 1: How now spirit - L'istesso tempo - Allegro vivace - Ill met by moonlight
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): ACT 2, Scene 2: Come, now a roundel - Song with chorus: You spotted snake - Allegro ma non troppo
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): What thou seest - Andante
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): Intermezzo : Allegro appassionato - Allegro molto comodo
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): ACT III, Scene I: Come, sit down - Allegro - What hempen home-spuns
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): Nocturne : Con moto tranquillo
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): Wedding March
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): ACT V, Scene I: Come now, what masques - Allegro comodo; Marcia funebre : Andante c
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): A Dance of Clowns : Allegro di molto - The iron tounge of midnight - Allegro vivace come prima
A Midsummer Night's Dream Op.61 (1843): Finale : Allegro di molto - Through the house
Te Deum, Op.22: I. Te Deum laudamus - Hymne
Te Deum, Op.22: II. Tibi omnes - Hymne
Te Deum, Op.22: Prélude
Te Deum, Op.22: III. Dignare - Prière
Te Deum, Op. 22: IV. Christe, Rex gloriae - Hymne
Te Deum, Op.22: V. Te ergo quaesumus - Prière
Te Deum, Op.22: VI. Jude crederis - Hymne et prière
Te Deum, Op.22: Marche pour la présentation aux drapeaux (March for the honouring of the flags)
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), I. L'Allegro: 1.L'allegro - Accompagnato : Hence loathed Melancholy
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), I. L'Allegro: 2. Il penseroso - Accompagnato: Hence vain deluding joyes
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), I. L'Allegro: 3. L'allegro - Air: Come, thou goddess fair and free
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), I. L'Allegro: 4a. Il penseroso - Air: Come rather Goddess sage and holy
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), I. L'Allegro: 5. L'allegro - Air & Chorus: Haste thee, nymph
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), I. L'Allegro: 6. Air & chorus: Come, and trip it as you go
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), I. L'Allegro: 7. Il penseroso - Accompagnato: Come, pensive nun, devout and pure
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), I. L'Allegro: 8. Arioso: Come, but keep thy wonted state
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), I. L'Allegro: 9. Accompagnato & chorus: There held in holy passion still
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), I. L'Allegro: 10. L'allegro - Recitative: Hence, loathed Melancholy - & Air: Mirth, admit me of they crew
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), I. L'Allegro: 11. Il penseroso - Accompagnato: First, and chief, on golden wing
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), I. L'Allegro: 12. Air: Sweet bird, that shun'st the noise of folly
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), I. L'Allegro: 13. L'allegro - Recitative: If I give thee hounour due - & Air: Mirth, admit me of thy crew
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), I. L'Allegro: 14.Il pensero - Air: Oft on a plat of rising ground
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), I. L'Allegro: 15. Air: Far from all resort of Mirth
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), I. L'Allegro: 16. L'allegro - Recitative: If I give thee hounour due - & Air: Let me wander, not unseen
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), I. L'Allegro: 17. Air: Straight mine eye hath caught new pleasures
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), I. L'Allegro: 18. Accompagnato: Mountains, on whose barren breast
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), I. L'Allegro: 19a. Air & chorus: Or let the merry bells ring round
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), III. Il Moderato: 39. Duet: As steals the morn upon the night
L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato (pastoral ode), III. Il Moderato: 40. Chorus: Thy pleasures, Moderation, give
I. Villanelle
II. Le spectre de la rose
III. Sur les lagunes: lamento
IV. Absence
V. Au cimetière: claire de lune
VI. L'île inconnue
Overture
Behold! auspicious flashes arise
Lucky omens bless our rites
Daughter, obey
Ah! me! - O Jove!
The morning lark to mine accords his note
See she blushing turns her eyes
Hymen, haste, thy torch prepare
Alas! she yields, and has undone me
Why dost thou thus untimely grieve?
Avert these omens
Again auspicious flashes rise
Thy aid, pronubial Juno, Athamas implores!
Cease your vows
O Athamas, what toture hast thou borne!
Turn, hopeless lover, turn thy eyes
She weeps!
Your tuneful voice my tale would tell
Too well I see, thou wilt not understand me
You've undone me / With my life I would atone
Ah, wretched prince / Wing'd with our fears /O prodigy/See, see, Jove's Priests
Hail Cadmus!
Endless pleasure...
Su le sponde del Tebro - Cantata a voce sola con Violini e Tromba: 1. Sinfonia. Grave (Voice)
2. Recitativo (Voice)
3. Sinfonia - Aria (Voice)
4. Recitativo (Voice)
5. Aria. Largo (Voice)
6. *Aria. (Poco mosso, sempre dolce e leggiero) - Ritornello* (Voice)
7. Recitativo (Voice)
8. Aria - Sinfonia. Grave (da capo) (Voice)


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