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Conor Nelson

Praised for his “long-breathed phrases and luscious tone” by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Canadian flutist Conor Nelson is established as a leading flutist of his generation. Since his New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, he has appeared frequently as soloist and recitalist throughout the United States and abroad. He is the Principal Flutist of the New Orchestra of Washington in Washington D.C.

Solo engagements include performances with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the Flint Symphony, and numerous other orchestras. The only wind player to win the Grand Prize at the WAMSO Young Artist Competition, he also won first prize at the William C. Byrd Young Artist Competition. In addition, he has received top prizes at the New York Flute Club Young Artist Competition and the Haynes International Flute Competition. He recently performed two recitals in London, England and was featured on the McGraw Hill Young Artist Showcase (WQXR New York), Minnesota Public Radio, WGTE Toledo and WGBH Boston Public Radio.

With percussionist Ayano Kataoka he performed at Merkin Concert Hall, Tokyo Bunka Kaikan Hall, Izumi Hall. A recital at the Tokyo Opera City Hall that received numerous broadcasts on NHK Television. Their CD entitled, “Breaking Training” was released on New Focus Recordings (NYC). His second CD “Nataraja” with pianist Thomas Rosenkranz is also available on New Focus. He has also collaborated with Claude Frank on the Schneider concert series in NYC and has appeared at numerous chamber music festivals across the country including the OK Mozart, Bennington, Skaneateles, Yellow Barn, Cooperstown, Salt Bay, Look and Listen (NYC), Norfolk (Yale), Green Mountain, Chesapeake, and the Chamber Music Quad Cities series.

In demand as a pedagogue, Dr. Nelson has given master classes at over one hundred colleges, universities and conservatories. He is currently the Associate Professor of Flute at Bowling Green State University. Prior to this appointment he served as the Assistant Professor of Flute at Oklahoma State University. Recent residencies include Yonsei University in Seoul, Korea, the Sichuan Conservatory in Chengdu, China, and the Conservatorio de Música de Puerto Rico. He is also a regular guest of the Texas Summer Flute Symposium and has been the featured guest artist for the Texas Flute Society, the Austin Flute Society, the Atlanta Flute Club, the Southwest Michigan (Detroit) Flute Association, the Greater Cleveland Flute Association and several others.

He received degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, Yale University, and Stony Brook University where he was the winner of the school-wide concerto competitions at all three institutions. He is also a recipient of the Thomas Nyfenger Prize, the Samuel Baron Prize, and the Presser Award. His principal teachers include Carol Wincenc, Ransom Wilson, Linda Chesis and Susan Hoeppner. Conor is a Powell Flutes artist. He resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan where he studies Iyengar Yoga with Laurie Blakeney.


“a clear, resonant sound that soared above the orchestra”Rob HubbardThe Minnesota Pioneer Press
“long-breathed phrases and luscious tone”Larry FuchsbergThe Minneapolis Star Tribune
“It was obvious from the beginning that he is a seasoned performer. His dexterous handling of the many tricky finger passages in Ibert’s three-movement work was most impressive. But even more dazzling was his extraordinary control of the flute’s tone. Without ever seeming to falter, Nelson performed brilliantly.”Laurence E. MacDonaldThe Flint Journal
“…an eloquent reading of a Mozart Flute Quartet.”
“The performance, full of rich timbral contrasts, had technical polish but also a whimsical and freewheeling quality…”Jeremy EichlerThe Boston Globe
“Nelson is the embodiment of a showman. His stage presence is genial, his dress is stylish and he even grins on cadences.”The Yale Daily News
“La complicité entre les deux musiciens était remarquable et le choix de pièces judicieux.” (Conor and Ayano Duo)Le Récitatif, Québec
“Nelson’s tone was beautiful and his phrasing exceptional.” Dennis Ferrarawww.expertentertainment.com
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“…nothing short of spectacular.”

“The concert was a total delight. Both performers play with a youthful exuberance, impetuosity and carefree abandon that instantly sweeps the listener away; at the same time, they have the poised, confident sate presence of seasoned veterans.”
“The performance had style and clarity, with excellent balance and interplay between the melodic and contrapuntal voices.”Edith EislerThe New York Concert Review
“The flutist’s tone was warm, subtle and beautiful… Here was the subtlest of chamber playing. One sensed that here were two friends playing together and sharing their art with an intimate audience.”Dennis FerraraOn the Town Magazine (MI)
“I recommend him without reservation.”John CoriglianoComposer
“His playing was marked with beautiful tone, subtlety of the musical phrase and a total understanding for nuance and expression.”Dennis FerraraOn the Town Magazine
“Especially marvelous was the sheer fun of Nelson’s cadenza.”Colleen JohnstonThe Kitchener-Waterloo Record

Past Performances

March 29, 2012
YSM flute studio alumni concert
Yale School of Music
New Haven, CT
February 10, 2012
New York City Recital
Tenri Cultural Center
New York, NY
January 28, 2012
Ball State University
Muncie, IN
January 28, 2012
Master Class
Ball State University
Muncie, IN
December 4, 2011
Nielsen Concerto with BGSU Philharmonia
Kobacker Hall, BGSU
Bowling Green, OH
November 13, 2011
Guest Artist Master Class & Recital
The University of Akron
Akron, OH
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Paul Schoenfield
Ufaratsta (Valentine)
Johann Sebastian Bach
Sonata in E Major for Flute & Continuo, BWV 1035
Adagio ma non tanto
Henri Dutilleux
Sonatine (1943)
Jacques Ibert
Concerto Pour Flûte et Orchestre (1934)
Allegro scherzando
Shinae Kim - piano
Madeleine Dring
Trio for Flute, Oboe and Piano (1968)
Allegro giocoso
Celeste Johnson - oboe
Heather Lanners - piano
Teruyuki Noda
Eclogue for Flute and Percussions (1970)
Eclogue for Flute and Percussions (1970)
Ayano Kataoka, percussion

Coming soon...

Franck Sonata
Conor Nelson, flute Mvt II: 5:30 Mvt III: 13:20 Mvt IV: 20:35
Conor Nelson Flute Masterclass: FCNY Salon Series
Sponsored by the Flute Center of New York and Verne Q. Powell Flutes for the FCNY Salon Series Recorded on March 17, 2018 ... Find your flute at FCNY: https:...
Jennifer Higdon, rapid.fire for solo flute. - YouTube
Conor Nelson, flute BGSU New Music Festival, October 22, 2015.
FCNY podcast
Canadian flutist, Dr. Conor Nelson, began his studies on the flute not quite sure of where it would lead him. He followed his passion nonetheless and made th...
Christopher Dietz: Kinderspiel - YouTube
Christopher Dietz: Kinderspiel (2011) Conor Nelson, flute Thomas Rosenkranz, piano Recorded at Constellation, Chicago, IL - April 13, 2014 New Music from Bow...
Mikel Kuehn: Chimera (2017, flute and piano) - YouTube
Chimera (2017, flute and piano) by Mikel Kuehn Conor Nelson, flute Thomas Rosenkranz, piano Recorded live at the 2017 Bowling Green New Music Festival Octobe...
Ibert: Concerto, III
Allegro scherzando
Conor Nelson, flute
Minnesota Orchestra