John Nelson to Lead Furman University Students and Soloists


Furman University Singers, Chorales,
and Symphony Orchestra

From April 9-15, 2012, Soli Deo Gloria’s Artistic Director, John Nelson, is in residency at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. During the course of the week, Nelson will meet with music students, conduct master classes, and rehearse with the orchestral and choral forces of the university in preparation for a concluding concert on Sunday afternoon, April 15, at 3:00 p.m.


This Spring Oratorio will feature Maestro Nelson leading the Furman Symphony Orchestra, Furman Singers, Furman Chorales, and three professional soloists in a performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2, “Lobgesang.” This 70-minute symphony-cantata features three orchestral movements followed by a choral-orchestral "Hymn of Praise" featuring tenor Stanford Olsen and sopranos Tamara Matthews and Lisa Barksdale. Nelson will open the program conducting the


Furman University Symphony Orchestra

The Furman Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Thomas Joiner; the Furman Singers by Hugh Ferguson Floyd; and the Furman Women’s Chorale and Men’s Chorale by Vivian Hamilton. The concert venue is McAlister Auditorium; tickets are $15 for adults, $10 seniors 60 and older, and $5 for students/youth. For more information or to order tickets by phone, please call the Furman Music Office at 864-294-2086, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or visit the department’s website.

The public is also invited to a free “Meet Maestro Nelson” gathering on Friday, April 13 from 3-4:30 p.m. in Daniel Memorial Chapel. John Nelson, Thomas Joiner, Hugh Floyd and featured soloists will discuss the repertoire and the week’s residency. Nelson will also conduct the Furman Singers in selections from their recently completed tour program.


John Nelson
(Photo: David Zaugh)

John Nelson, internationally renowned for his interpretation of the large romantic repertoire, as well as stylish performances of music from the baroque and classic periods, has conducted most of the world’s top orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras and the New York Philharmonic. Nelson’s varied repertoire has also taken him to many of the world’s major opera houses including the Metropolitan Opera, the Chicago Lyric, Opéra National de Paris and the Netherlands Opera.

Central to Nelson’s work is the interpretation of the great sacred choral literature. He is presently conducting a series of live DVD performances of this repertoire including Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with the Netherlands Radio Kammerphilharmonie and Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Orchestre de chambre de Paris (formerly, the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris). He is the recipient of numerous awards including a Grammy for his recording of Handel’s Semele on the Deutsche Grammophon label and a Diapason d’Or de l’Année for Berlioz’s Béatrice et Bénédict on Erato.

Born in Costa Rica, Nelson studied at the Juilliard School, New York, where he won the Irving Berlin prize in conducting. He has held the title of Music Director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Caramoor Music Festival in New York. From 1998 to 2008 he was Directeur Musicale of the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris. He has also served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre National de Lyon and Artistic Adviser to the Nashville and Louisville Orchestras.

Recent and future engagements include Boston Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Cincinnati Symphony, Danish National Symphony, Royal Flanders Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony, Sydney Symphony and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestras. Opera engagements include performances at the Grand Théâtre de Genève of Weber’s Der Freischütz and Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust, Les Troyens and Mozart’s Idomeneo at Netherlands Opera, Mozart’s La finta giardiniera at Brussels' La Monnaie and Nozze di Figaro at the Santa Fe Opera.