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Violinist Holly Nelson received the Peabody Institute's 2022 Presser Award, which "is designed to especially encourage and support the advanced education and careers of truly exceptional graduate music students who have the potential to make a notable contribution to the field of music." She was also the recipient of a 2022-23 Fulbright Grant, which gave her the opportunity to study tango music in Buenos Aires, Argentina for a full calendar year. Since returning to the United States, Ms. Nelson was recently named the new concertmaster of the Pan-American Symphony Orchestra, a Washington, DC-based orchestra devoted to performing Latin American symphonic repertoire. She will make her PASO debut at the Kennedy Center in DC this Spring. 


Ms. Nelson has appeared in concert as a recitalist, chamber and orchestral musician throughout the United States, including residencies at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Jazz at Lincoln Center as a violin fellow with The Orchestra Now, premiering Witchcraft-Incantos by Fabian Beltran with pianist Huizi Zhang at National Sawdust in Brooklyn, NY, appearing in recital at the Fox Performing Arts Theater in El Paso, TX, and premiering 23 works for duo, trio and sextet as a contemporary ensemble fellow at the Atlantic Music Festival in Waterville, Maine. She has also performed in Canada at the Banff Center for the Arts in conjunction with the International Contemporary Ensemble, given a recital tour in Taiwan with harpsichordist Hsiu-Tzu Ryan, performed in England as concertmaster of the Britten Pears Contemporary Music Program, in Switzerland and Luxembourg with the chamber ensemble FENSADENSE as an artist of the Lucerne Festival and in China as principal second violin with the Manhattan Symphonie during their month-long tour. While completing her Fulbright Grant in Argentina, Holly was invited to give a solo violin performance at the US Embassy in Buenos Aires and was also a featured soloist with the Tango Orchestra of the Manuel de Falla Conservatory. In addition, she was invited to perform and record with Ariel Pirotti, director of the Tango Orchestra of the National University of the Arts (Buenos Aires.)


Holly Nelson received her bachelor's degree in music from the Mannes College of Music in New York City and her master's degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) in Ohio, where she was the teaching assistant to Giora Schmidt. Her other notable professors include Kurt Sassmannshaus, Ann Setzer, Daniel Phillips and Garrett Fischbach. She has taught at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, Fordham University in New York City, and the University of Texas - El Paso. She is currently completing her DMA at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University where she studies with violinist Vadim Gluzman as a Dean’s Doctoral Fellow. 

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