Faculty & Staff

Lewis Nielson (b. 1950) studied music at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England, Clark University in Massachusetts and the University of Iowa, receiving a PhD in music theory and composition in 1977. His music appears through American Composers Edition and CDs of his music are available from Albany, MMC, Capstone, Centaur, and Innova Recordings. He has received numerous grants and awards for his works, including from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Delius Foundation, Meet the Composer, the Georgia Council for the Arts, the Groupe de Music Expèrimentale de Bourges in France, the Ibla Foundation, Sicily, and the International Society of Bassists. He has received many commissions, and his works have been performed throughout the United States, South America, and Europe. Among the more notable performances of his large works he has received have been performances by the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, the American Composer’s Orchestra, the Fresno (CA) Philharmonic; and recent CD recording/performance projects with the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra of Bratislava, the Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra, and the Tchaikovsky Symphony of Moscow Radio. He was honored recently as the 2007 Cleveland Arts Prize laureate. He served as Professor of Music Theory and Composition at the University of Georgia, where he directed the University of Georgia Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, for 21 years. In 2000, he joined the composition faculty of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music where he is currently Professor of Composition and chair of the Composition Department.


After initial training as a guitarist, Josh Levine went on to study composition with Balz Trümpy at the Musik-Akademie Basel (Switzerland). He also studied for a year at the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique in Paris with Guy Reibel. From 1994-95, he participated in Ircam's Cursus de composition et d'informatique musicale. He obtained his Ph.D. in 2002 from the University of California, San Diego, where he worked principally with Brian Ferneyhough. He has taught composition at UCSD, Stanford, and San Francisco State University, where he lectured in composition, electronic music, and music theory from 2000-08. Currently he is Assistant Professor of Composition at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music.

Josh Levine’s tape composition, Tel, received First Prize at the Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition in 1987 and a Euphonie d’0r in 1992. His music has been commissioned by such leading ensembles and performers as Magnus Andersson, Contrechamps, Aiyun Huang, Jürg Wyttenbach, the soloists of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, and the Ensemble Intercontemporain under David Robertson.

In addition to his composing and work as an educator, Josh Levine has long been active as a guitarist in new music ensembles. He has participated in numerous concerts and broadcasts with the noted Swiss ensembles Contrechamps and the Ensemble der IGNM, Basel. Most recently, he collaborated as soloist with the Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain on the first performance of his work for guitar, ensemble, and electronics, Former Selves. He has also performed with SONOR (San Diego) and with members of sfSound (San Francisco).