Matthew Nelson


Hailed for his “astounding range and virtuosity” (CD HotList), 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 has performed as guest principal clarinet with the Virginia and Utah Symphonies, and his performances throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan include international competitions and premieres. He maintains an international profile as both performer and pedagogue, with engagements as invited professor on the faculties of the Beyond the Music International Chamber Music Festival and the Curso Internacional “Eduardo Ocón” in Spain. Nelson’s recent solo CD release, Meditations and Tributes, was lauded as “an unreserved success” (Fanfare), demonstrating a “staggering command of the instrument” (textura).

Prior to his appointment at the UofL, Nelson held the position of principal clarinet with the Utah Chamber Orchestra (Ballet West). 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 Lawrence, Baton Rouge, Assisi, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C., and premiered a work for clarinet and piano by Marc Satterwhite at ClarinetFest 2017 in Orlando.

An advocate of new music, Nelson has worked closely with many prominent contemporary composers, including Kaija Saariaho, Shulamit Ran, Steve Rouse, Marc Satterwhite, William O. Smith, Agata Zubel, Joël-François Durand, Bruce Quaglia, Morris Rosenzweig, Diane Thome, Dan Welcher, and Eric Flesher.

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.

Nelson is a D’Addario Woodwinds Artist and performs exclusively on D’Addario Reserve clarinet reeds.

“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
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Welcome to my New Website

Welcome to my new website!  Much thanks to Nicholas Finch for making this a reality! 



  1. Meditations and Tributes: Works for Solo Clarinet –
    Soundset Records SR1087 (Soundset, iTunes)
  2. Steve Rouse Ten Little Things – with Greg Byrne,
    percussion – Ravello Records RR7973
  3. Morris Rosenzweig Parts and Labor – with members of
    the Utah Symphony; release date TBD

Print Materials 

  1. August Winding: Drei Phantasiestücke, Op. 19, edited by
    Matthew Nelson; Jeanné Publications
  2. DMA Document: Morton Feldman’s Clarinet Works: A
    Study Through the Words of the Note Man


1 – Master Class Worksheets and Presentations – 

  1. 2014 UCF High Note Master Class
  2. 2015 Sound Fundamentals Class
  3. All-State Clinic Handout Fall 2015
  4. MUSC 3659 Clarinet Methods Workbook
  5. Utah Clarinet Festival 2015 Articulation Class

2 – Scales

3 – Performance Suggestions for works included in Meditations and
Tributes (forthcoming)



Louisville, KY