An engaging performer and inspired educator, Austin native Leah Nelson has become a highly sought after violist. Leah has performed throughout the United States including Carnegie Hall and Walt Disney Concert Hall. As a chamber musician she performs with the Felix String Quartet and collaborates regularly with other artists in the Austin Texas area. Leah enjoys working with a wide variety of
musicians. She has toured with Andrea Bocelli and Trans Siberian Orchestra, performed with Barry Manilow and Willie Nelson, and recorded with the Grammy nominated band Devotchka. Here in Austin, Leah works frequently with composers Graham Reynolds, Peter Stopchinski, and Justin Sherburn. Her viola playing can be heard on the sound track to the movie Bernie, directed by Richard Linklater. As an
orchestral musician, Leah has performed regularly with the Austin Symphony, Austin Lyric Opera, the New West Symphony and the American Youth Symphony.
Leah began her professional studies at the University of Texas at Austin where she received a Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance under the tutelage of Roger Myers. Ms. Nelson holds a Master of Music degree as well from the University of Southern California where she studied with the world-renowned performer and pedagogue Donald McInnes. In addition Leah has also studied at the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena Italy under the great Russian violist Yuri Bashmet.
Leah is Executive Director of Salon Concerts and an alumni of the CHAMPS program. While attending Austin High School in the 1990’s, Leah’s first chamber music experience was playing in string quartets and quintets in the CHAMPS program under the tutelage of it’s founder, Robert Rudié.
A passionate educator, Leah has been teaching string performance, technique, pedagogy and musicianship to young people for the past 17 years. In addition to holding a thriving private studio all these years, Leah has worked with organizations such as UT String Project, Education Through Music Los Angeles, American Youth Symphony Outreach Program, the Harmony Project and Austin Chamber Music Center. She believes in the power of music education to enhance young peoples lives.