Keyes, Nelson

Nelson Keyes (1928 - 1987)

Nelson Keyes was born in Oklahoma, educated at the University of Texas, the University of California (Los Angeles), and the University of Southern California, and a student of Wilbur Ogden, Kent Kennan, Arnold Schoenberg, Halsey Stevens and Ingolf Dahl. He served as composer-in-residence for the Louisville Public Schools (Louisville, Kentucky), 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, in Emporia, Kansas, Keyes then returned to Louisville in 1969 where he taught at the University of Louisville until his tragic death while hiking in Nevada in 1987. Keyes wrote a number of works for band, orchestra, chamber ensembles, piano and stage. It should be noted for the pronunciation of his last name that “Keyes” rhymes with “skies” and “pies.”