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Merrick Nelson, principal violist

Merrick Nelson started playing viola at the age of ten, studying privately with Alan Arnold in Saratoga Springs, New York. While studying with Mr. Arnold, Mr. Nelson won the Saratoga Springs Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition and performed with the orchestra at Hubbard Hall in Cambridge, New York. In his senior year of high school, Mr. Nelson successfully auditioned for the Glens Falls Symphony and performed under the direction of Maestro Charles Peltz. In 2007 Mr. Nelson successfully auditioned for the Boston Philharmonic, and continues to perform with them today. Mr. Nelson completed his undergraduate study in viola performance at Boston University, studying with Professor Michelle LaCourse and earning the distinction of summa cum laude. Mr. Nelson recently graduated from the New England Conservatory with a Master's degree in performance, studying with Carol Rodland. While attending the New England Conservatory, he was chosen as the principal violist for the 2009 NEC Festival Orchestra which performed in Italy at The Vatican under the direction of Maestro Helmuth Rilling. Mr. Nelson has attended music programs such as the Heifetz International Music Festival and the Bowdoin Music Festival, and has had the privilege of playing in master classes for such great artists as Karen Tuttle, Kim Kashkashian, and Roger Tapping. Mr. Nelson plays on a 1990 Nicholas Frirsz viola.