Born in Dublin, Ireland, Norman Nelson began his violin studies at the age of ten.
was 15 he
won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, London
teacher was George Stratton (Concertmaster of the London Symphony Orchestra) - later studying with Sascha Lasserson, a pupil of Leopold Auer.
was conscripted into the Household Cavalry - the Life Guards - as concertmaster in the Life Guards Band stationed at Windsor.
On completion of his
national service at age 20, he
was appointed to a position in the first violin section of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
held the position of Assistant Concertmaster with the Royal Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBC and London Symphony Orchestras
and served as concertmaster under such conductors as Sir Thomas Beecham, Herbert Von Karajan, Antal Dorati, Georg Solti, Rudolf Kempe, Sir Adrian Boult and Benjamin Britten.
He was a founding member of the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the most recorded chamber orchestra in the world, and also a member of the London Octet.
Norman emigrated to Canada in 1965 to join the Vancouver Symphony as Concertmaster.
He was a founding member of the Baroque Strings of Vancouver, The Vancouver Symphony Chamber Players and the Purcell String Quartet.
In 1979 he was appointed Professor of Violin and Chamber Music at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and the leader of the University String Quartet.
In 1982 he
toured with the Quartet to Japan and China representing the Federal Government and also to Hong Kong under the aegis of Alberta Culture.
He was conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra and the founder of the Academy Strings at the University of Alberta.
In 1985 he
became concertmaster of the Alberta Baroque Ensemble with which he
also appeared as soloist.
In 1997 Norman retired as Professor Emeritus and moved to Sooke, BC where he founded a community orchestra, the Sooke Philharmonic now in its 16th year.
has appeared as soloist with many orchestras, including the London Symphony
, Academy of St. Martins-in-the-Fields
, BBC Symphony
and Vancouver Symphony
As a chamber musician, he
has performed in every major city in North America, and in Europe, Russia, Japan, Hong Kong and China.
A dedicated teacher, he has taught at the Vancouver Academy of Music and the Banff Centre and he was a co- founder of the Courtenay Youth Music Centre on Vancouver Island, BC.
This past July/August he he
visited Ireland's West Coast to teach and conduct at the "Summer Music on the Shannon" summer school - a repeat visit.
In 2007, Norman
was awarded the Orchestras Canada Betty Webster Award for his
sustained and significant contribution to the Canadian Orchestral Community.
In May 2012, he
was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal, which honours outstanding Canadians whose achievements have benefitted their fellow citizens.