Erik Nielsen, composer

Composer Erik Nielsen has created works for chorus, orchestra, wind ensemble, solo instruments, chamber music, works for dance, film and electronic music. His pieces have been performed all over the world by ensembles including A Far Cry, the Amabile, Chiara, Emerson and Ying String Quartets; the National Symphony Orchestra; the Killington and Manchester Chamber Players; Bread and Puppet Theater; the Vermont Contemporary Music Ensemble; Vermont Opera Theater, Vermont Symphony; Vermont Philharmonic, Montpelier Chamber Orchestra, Vermont Youth Orchestra and Village and Northern Harmony. He has won awards from ASCAP, the Vermont Arts Council, and the Vermont Music Teachers Association. In September 2015, his first opera, A Fleeting Animal, a collaboration with poet/playwright David Budbill and premiered in 2000, was performed in a newly revised edition to great acclaim in six locations in Vermont in 2015. Recent commissions include The Meadowlark performed by the Vermont Symphony strings in November, 2023; a set of student piano pieces based on nature themes (2023); a film score for the Green Mountain Film Festival, The Adventures of Prince Achmed (premiered by the Montpelier Chamber Orchestra March 23, 2019 and funded in part by a Creation Grant from the Vermont Arts Council); All This Night Shrill Chanticleer, a commission from the Vermont professional chorus Counterpoint premiered in December, 2018; a new work for the Northern Third Quartet, Piano Quartet #1, premiered in October, 2018 (funded in part by a grant from the Vermont Community Foundation); A Voice in the Night, a four-movement work for bassoon and piano (funded in part by a grant from the Vermont Arts Council); Fanfare in B Flat, commissioned by the Vermont Symphony for their 80th anniversary; and Glimpses of Azure, commissioned by the Boston string orchestra A Far Cry. Erik’s second opera, Aliceheimer’s, written in collaboration with artist and writer Dana Walrath, has already had two preview performances and is beginning production. Erik is a Fellow of the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences. He lives in Brookfield, Vermont.

Featured composition, April 28 & 29, 2024.