Brian Raphael Nabors

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Brian Raphael Nabors is a composer of emotionally enriching music that tells exciting narratives with its vibrant themes and colorful harmonic language. He has been commissioned by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and ROCO Chamber Orchestra, and he has worked with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He has performed at the Texas Music Educators Association Conference (TMEA), the Midwest Composers Symposium and the International Double Reed Society Conference (IDRS). His music has been performed by the Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings and the Atlanta Chamber Players. His work has also been featured in masterclasses with composers William Bolcom, John Harbison and Lowell Liebermann.

With an eclectic musical palate and crafty compositional technique to match, Nabors’ music draws from combinations of jazz, funk, R&B and gospel, with the modern flair of contemporary classical music. This blend of sound worlds continues to craft his unique musical voice.

Nabors was named the 2018-19 Composer-in-Residence with the Castle of Our Skins organization in Boston, Massachussetts; a 2019 composer fellow in the American Composer’s Orchestra Earshot program with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; and a 2019 cycle five grand prize winner of the Rapido! National Composition Contest by judges Robert Spano, Jennifer Higdon and Michael Gandolfi. Nabors is also a 2019-20 Fulbright scholarship recipient to Sydney, Australia, studying with composer Carl Vine at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

Nabors earned Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees in composition at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), where he studied with Douglas Knehans, Ellen Ruth Harrison and Miguel A. Roig-Francolí. Prior to graduate studies, he obtained a Bachelor of Music Theory & Composition from the School of the Arts at Samford University in Birmingham, where he studied composition with Sarana Chou and piano with Kathryn Fouse. 

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Featured Work: Pulse for orchestra

My conception of Pulse began as a long contemplation of daily life as we know it, combined with thoughts of life in nature. It was inspired by the idea that a mysterious perpetual rhythm is at work to sustain our existence.

It is truly fascinating how we as human beings get so caught up in the daily tasks in our society that we lose focus of the great natural wonders that are taking place simultaneously as we rush to pay our bills, feed ourselves and our families, put gas in our cars and try to make it to work on time. All the while, creatures are abundant and full of life, following their own natural order for survival. Natural phenomena such as the weather, gravitational forces, light and energy are all working together to sustain the habitats of all that we know, and don’t. The universe seems to have this natural rhythm to it. This work is to highlight the very fact that everything, not only on earth, but in the universe, has a rhythm to sustain its being. Everything has a PULSE.