Mike Nelson has been primed for a career in classical music ever since owning his first cassette tape as a 5-year-old, which, incidentally was a recording of a symphony by Gustav Mahler. Choosing to play the French horn in his middle school band after watching Star Wars for the first time only sealed the deal.
It was clear to Mike that he had a passion for talking about music in an accessible and entertaining way after a decade of performing and teaching in Montana. From chamber music tours in tiny rural towns to confronting skeptical student stares in his music appreciation classrooms at Montana State University, Mike quickly embraced spreading the joy of classical music to all audiences. Mike's also no stranger to public media having performed on two episodes of MontanaPBS's Emmy-awarded show 11th and Grant with Eric Funk. Needless to say, Mike and CapRadio are a natural fit.
Mike loves historical performance practice and connecting music to its historical context, appearing with groups like Portland Baroque Orchestra, Baroque Music Montana, and Lyra Baroque Orchestra in Minnesota. He uses instruments ranging from the Baroque period all the way to post-World War II France – including a Classical natural horn that he built – and honestly, he would be more than happy to talk to you about all of it. Mike's past speaking engagements included a presentation about the natural horn and the evolving role of the horn in the wind quintet at the International Horn Symposium.
Mike holds music degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and the University of Florida. When not doing music stuff, you can find Mike watching baseball, sampling new breweries, and exploring the great outdoors.