Violist Judith Nelson joined the New York Philharmonic in 1983. A native of Portland, Oregon, she graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Washington (Seattle) and also holds a Master’s degree from The Juilliard School. As a student, she received the University of Washington’s highest music award, the Brechemin Scholarship, and performed concertos by Mozart, Hindemith, Walton, and Bartók with the University Symphony and the Seattle Symphony. She earned a master’s degree from The Juilliard School and taught at the University of Evansville and Memphis State University, performing in its resident quartets and as a recitalist. She is a former Governor of the New York Chapter of the GRAMMY organization. She states that her most memorable moments were playing Mahler with Leonard Bernstein, and the Verdi Requiem with Riccardo Muti.
Time in the outdoors is important to Ms. Nelson. Vacations are spent hiking and cycling, often in her native West; at home in New York, she blades, runs, and practices yoga. Other interests include books, especially twentieth-century fiction and poetry, languages, and jazz. A favorite recreation is reading string quartets with friends.