A native of Dallas Texas, Carly Nelson is a freelance harpist and harp instructor currently living and working in Austin, Texas. Ms. Nelson is an active performer of orchestral, chamber and solo repertoire music. Recently, she graduated with her Specialist in Harp Performance from the University of Michigan where she studied with Joan Raeburn Holland. She received her Master’s Degree from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University studying under Paula Page. She was a finalist in the Anne Adams Awards Competition and has received performance scholarships to the University of Michigan, Rice University, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, The Eastern Music Festival and the Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory.
Ms. Nelson graduated from high school as co-valedictorian in 2007 from the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Harp Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio in 2011. She began her studies of the harp at the age of 10 in Dallas, Texas after spending 8 years overseas in Indonesia and England. Before leaving for her last two years of high school at Interlochen, Ms. Nelson was Principal harpist of the Philharmonic Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra.
Ms. Nelson has served as principal harpist for the Oberlin Conservatory Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, the Shepherd School Symphony and Chamber Orchestras and the University of Michigan’s University Symphony Orchestra. She has also performed with several professional orchestras including the Baton Rouge, Victoria, Baytown, Battle Creek, Dexter, Adrian, Lansing and Temple Symphonies along with the Austin Opera. Ms. Nelson has also participated in numerous prestigious summer festivals including: the Rocky Mountain Summer Conservatory, Interlochen Arts Camp, the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Saratoga Harp Colony, the Eastern Music Festival, Oberlin in Italy, the Texas Music Festival, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, and the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestra Musicians.
A teacher as well as a performer, Ms. Nelson teaches harp to middle and high schoolers in several of the public schools in Round Rock, Texas. For the past several summers, she has worked as a Harp Teaching Assistant at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Camp located in Interlochen, Michigan as well as spending some time playing at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island as their Resident Harpist.