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Nelson Keyes

Composer of Jazz and Classical

Nelson Keyes (August 26, 1928- July 20, 1987) was an American composer and professor of music. Keyes was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He received bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Texas in 1948 and 1949, where he studied with Wilbur Ogdun and Kent Kennan. He completed additional studies at the University of California, Los Angeles with Arnold Schoenberg from 1950-1951. After service with the United States Air Force, Keyes earned a doctorate degree from the University of Southern California in 1967, where he studied with Halsey Stevens and Ingolf Dahl. Keyes taught composition at University of Southern California and at Long Beach City College. Following these assignments, Keyes moved to Louisville, Kentucky where he served as composer-in-residence for the Louisville Public Schools as part of the Young Composers' Project, sponsored by the Ford Foundation, from 1961-1964. Following a teaching position at Kansas State Teacher's College, Keyes returned to Louisville in 1969. Keyes died in July 1987 of hypothermia while hiking on Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Park, Nevada. Keyes' compositions include a number of works for chamber ensembles, band, orchestra, piano, and stage.

  • Jazz
  • Classical
Title Artist Year Type
Magic Prison / Abysses, Bridges, Chasms For Ten Rock-Jazz Soloists And OrchestraEzra Laderman - Archibald MacLeish / Nelson Keyes - The Louisville Orchestra, Jorge Mester1971Album
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