BRIAN NELSON – A LIFE IN MUSIC
Pianist Brian Nelson was born in Washington D.C. and began his music journey in class piano lessons at age 6. At 12, he pursued piano studies with Stewart Gordon at the University of Maryland, where he was introduced to a college level, classical music curriculum.
It was another D.C. pianist, Frank Hinton, who convinced Brian to broaden his musical perspective to include the rich and diverse style of jazz piano.
After graduating from high school at 16, Brian began a tenure at the world-renowned Omega Recording as a studio musician and composer of advertising jingles. There, he met Dick Heintze, Hammond organist for guitarist Danny Gatton, who influenced him to add jazz organ to his repertoire.
Brian returned to the University of Maryland to study jazz with Ron Elliston and George Ross. He took what he learned in the recording studio and applied it to course work in radio, television and film, his double major on the way to a Bachelor of Arts in music. Graduate work followed at George Washington University.
After a short time on the air in radio, Brian moved to New York to work as a session pianist, a stint that lasted until arriving at the Hilton Hotel in McLean, VA, where he enjoyed a piano residency for 11 years. Attracting students through his performances, Brian’s home became his teaching studio where he began to pass on his craft. In addition to classical and jazz piano, he also taught music theory and arranging. After a hiatus to build a family and raise his children, Brian returned to performing and teaching piano, music theory and digital keyboard technology to a new generation of students.