Michelle Nelson Bio

Michelle Nelson Guitarist

Welcome to the website of Michelle Nelson, composer, guitarist and creative educator; a musician committed to developing instrumental works that are contemporary but also draw from traditional composition.

Her popular FM radio works Brolga Dances, Capricorn Light and Pacifica (2009), Harmony on Lyttleton Street (2013) and Amorevolezza (2005) reflect these aims. Michelle is driven by the belief that, in an era of computer-generated music the art of music composition in the modern world is more vital than ever, and that the most original work can only come from the imagination of skilled artists.

In 2016 Michelle is proud to announce the release of a new solo guitar disc Return to the Dance. This album features the composer performing her own distinctive classical-guitar compositions.

Return to the Dance

Michelle Nelson - Return to the Dance

Guitars and dance go together like two sides of a coin; from the Spanish guitarists of old, to the Rock era and on to the Pop world of the 21st Century.

As a guitarist I have innately understood this connection. As a composer I have often mused on how modern art-music strayed so far from mainstream taste during the 20th Century. Perhaps the best way for it to re-connect in the new digital world is by a return to the dance.
Michelle Nelson

Return to the Dance is a new set of original solo guitar works by performer-composer Michelle Nelson. Much of the disc explores the traditional link between guitars and dance-forms, including The Guitarist’s Bach, an award-winning work that pays homage to JS Bach, in the style of a baroque guitar suite.<--break->

Return to the Dance - Featured Songs

  • The Guitarists's Bach: Prelude
  • Return to the Dance: 'Return'

Bach Award

Bach Competition Winner 2013

Winner of 2013 ‘Homage to Bach’ Composition Competition.
A prize offered jointly by Classical Society of Victoria and the Australian Bach Society, the 2013 competition was judged by Richard Charlton and the winning entry was The Guitarist’s Bach by Michelle Nelson. This work is modelled on the so-called ‘Lute Suites’ by JS Bach and uses two short phrases from those famous works, as the starting point for a new five-movement suite that honours the traditional Bach structure, whilst also incorporating some subtle elements of modern harmony.

For more detailed notes about The Guitarist’s Bach please visit the
Australian Bach Society website: www.bach.org.au

After the Fire

Michelle Nelson - after the fire

Released in October 2013, After The Fire is a collection of original compositions for a various instruments. The general style is contemporary classical, always with a strong sense of harmony and melodic purpose.

Featured shortly after release on ABC’s afternoon classic-drive program, several tracks from it have received regular airplay since then, including Harmony on Lyttleton Street for plucked-strings quintet, the 1st movement of the Flute & Guitar Sonata, and the 1st movement of the Birrarung Suite, a beautiful work for violin, cello & guitar.<--break->