Sam Nester

College Faculty:
Music History Faculty

Sam Nester leads a diverse career as a performer and educator. Nester has performed for Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival & Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the Beijing Modern Music Festival, Paris Opera Ballet, Wordless Music Orchestra, Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, Mark Morris Dance Group and the Festival of New Trumpet Music among others. For these ensembles and others, Nester has premiered works by Pulitzer Prize winning composer John Luther Adams, John Cale (Velvet Underground) and John Zorn.

Nester has been the artist-in-residence for Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, and Bruny Island, Australia. He has received commissions for the creation of site-specific sound installations by George Mason University, Colby College, EcoArt Project, and the Fulbright Commission at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

Between 2016-2021 Nester was the artistic director of Bridge Arts Ensemble, an arts education organization that partnered ensembles of professional New York City based musicians with schools in upstate New York for teaching artist residencies, reaching more than 70,000 students annually. He currently serves on trumpet faculty for The Juilliard School’s Music Advancement Program, and as director of brass bands and chair of the music department at St. Hilda’s & St Hugh’s school.

The recipient of numerous awards, Nester has been a Fulbright Scholar, a recipient of the Australian Music Foundation Award, a Brian Boak Outstanding Performer Award, an EcoArt Project Prize winner, and an American Australian Association’s Dame Joan Sutherland Fund grantee. He graduated with a Bachelor of Music Studies from the Queensland Conservatorium and Bachelor of Music from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (First Class Honors). He received a Master of Music and Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Manhattan School of Music, earning the Helen Cohn Award for his dissertation reexamining the life and work of Giacinto Scelsi in contemporary contexts.

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