Jeff Nelson, a former member of Canadian Brass, will perform a recital, along with Virginia Tech music faculty member and pianist Tracy Cowden, on Monday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m. in the Squires Recital Salon on the campus of Virginia Tech. 

Among the selections on the program are works by Richard Strauss, J.S. Bach, Hermann Neuling, Vaclav Nelhybel, and Nelsen's own arrangements of Gershwin's "Summertime" and Paganini's Caprice No. 24.

Nelsen describes himself as a "pig-farm-raised Canadian magician horn player" who has "fooled himself into thinking he's fearless on enough occasions to win auditions for symphonies, faculties, and an amazing ensemble called Canadian Brass." That description may be fitting for a musician that has also given a TEDx Talk and numerous presentations entitled "Fearless Performance." He is also an enthusiastic magician who says he loves to add touches of illusionary arts to his performances. 

In addition to performing with Canadian Brass for eight years, Nelsen has played on Broadway for two full show runs, soloed on five continents, and performed with dozens of orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago, and Boston Symphonies, and the Cleveland and Philadelphia Orchestras. He won his first professional audition in his third year of university. Through his extensive teaching and performing experiences, he shares inspiration and instruction in his online blog "Fearless Conversations." He currently teaches at Indiana University.

Cowden, a faculty member in the School of Performing Arts at Virginia Tech, has appeared as soloist with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Southwest Virginia, the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra, and the Virginia Tech Symphonic Wind Ensemble. 

As a collaborative pianist, she frequently performs with a diverse array of soloists and chamber ensembles. In addition to her work as a performer, Cowden was recently honored for teaching excellence in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, and plays an active role with the Virginia Music Teachers Association.

The recital is the fourth in a series of nine visiting artist recitals which include Javier Vinasco, clarinet, on Nov. 4; Jennifer Aylmer, soprano, on Nov. 18; Emmanuelle Bertrand, cello and Pascal Amoyel, piano, on Dec. 10; Nicholas Ross, piano, on Jan. 27; and Dennis Mackrel with the Jazz Ensembles on April 29.

Nelson will also give a "Fearless Performance" masterclass at 2 p.m. in the Squires Recital Salon which is free and open to the public.

See Nelsen perform with the Canadian Brass.

Tickets for the recital are $15 general, $10 senior, and $5 student; the masterclass is free of charge for the general public. Tickets may be purchased at the Student Centers and Activities Ticket Office on the first floor of Squires Student Center, online, or by calling 540-231-5615. Tickets will also be available at the box office beginning one hour prior to the performance. Discounted seats are available with the purchase of 5 or more tickets to any combination of performances in the School of Performing Arts 2013-14 season. The season includes the Visiting Artist Series, Ensemble Performance Series, and Mainstage Theatre productions.

Free parking is available in the Squires Lot, located at the corner of College Avenue and Otey Streets, in the Architecture Annex Lot on Otey Street, and the Perry Street/Prices Fork lots. Find more parking information online or call 540-231-3200. Alternative parking is available in the Kent Squire parking garage and the Farmers Market metered parking lot, both located on Draper Road. Additional downtown Blacksburg parking information can be found online.



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