Photo by Robert Eddy

Photo by Robert Eddy

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 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 opera, A Fleeting Animal,¬†a collaboration with poet/playwright David Budbill that¬†premiered in 2000, was performed in a newly revised edition to great acclaim in six locations in Vermont. Recent commissions include A Voice in the Night, a four-movement work for bassoon and piano, written for William Short, co-principal bassoonist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Bryan Wagorn, pianist and assistant conductor at The Met; Fanfare in B Flat, commissioned by the Vermont Symphony for their 80th anniversary, Glimpses of Azure, commissioned by the Boston string orchestra, A Far Cry; Trajectory of Flight for mezzo-soprano and strings; Voices in the Wind, a set of duets for flute and viola; The Crane Maiden for chamber ensemble, narrator and three actors; Cinque Amici, a work for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano; his Quartet for Strings #2; and The Falling of Trees for baritone and piano quartet. In 2002 he received the National Symphony Orchestra’s composition prize for Vermont. The resulting commissioned work, his Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, was premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D. C. on March 20, 2004. Mr. Nielsen was a 1994-95 recipient of a Vermont Council on the Arts Fellowship in music. In 1995 his piano quintet was performed at Carnegie Hall by the Manchester Chamber Players. He has been a recipient of ASCAP Standard Panel (now ASCAP PLUS) awards annually since 1993. Mr. Nielsen is Senior Composition Mentor with Music-COMP (formerly the Vermont MIDI Project). He also teaches music theory and composition with the Vermont Youth Orchestra, the Green Mountain Suzuki Institute, the Monteverdi School and privately, as well as music appreciation classes at the Montpelier Senior Activity Center. Mr. Nielsen lives in Brookfield, Vermont.


Erik Nielsen is a full-time professional composer who lives in Brookfield, Vermont. His works have been performed in Canada, Europe, Asia, South America and Australia as well as many locations in the United States including the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Recital Hall. His music has been performed by many ensembles both within and outside Vermont. He has won awards and grants from ASCAP, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Vermont Arts Council, the Vermont Community Foundation and the Kittredge Fund. He has taught music composition and theory for over 20 years. He is Senior Composition Mentor with Music-COMP (formerly the Vermont MIDI Project). He also teaches music theory, composition and music appreciation with several organizations throughout Vermont as well as privately.

View Erik Nielsen’s Compositional Resume