Brian Raphael Nabors [Nay-berz] (b.1991, Birmingham, AL) is a composer of emotionally enriching music that tells exciting narratives with its vibrant themes and colorful harmonic language.
Nabors’ music has been performed by the Boston, Atlanta, Nashville, Cincinnati, Detroit, Fort Worth, and Munich Symphonies, as well as ROCO Chamber Orchestra, the American Youth Symphony and Rochester Philharmonic. His music has been performed at many events across the US, including the Texas Music Educators Association Conference (TMEA), Midwest Composers Symposium, Texas Flute Society Festival, International Horn Symposium, International Double Reed Society Conference (IDRS), International Clarinet Association Clarinet Fest, National Orchestral Institute (NOI), and the Tanglewood Music Festival. He has also been performed by artists such as the Atlanta Chamber Players, Apollo Chamber Players, Dallas’s Voices of Change, Boston Musica Viva and the Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings. His work has been featured in masterclasses with composers such as 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 interesting blend of sound worlds is one that continues to craft his unique musical voice.
Recent highlights include a composition fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Center summer 2021; the 2021 Seikilos Focus Fellowship at Air SFI; and an “All-Ohio” String Quartet Project in partnership with The Well, The Cleveland Orchestra, Cincinnati & Columbus Symphony Orchestras.
Summer 2022 performances include the Boston Symphony at Tanglewood, Aspen Festival Orchestra and the Chineke! Orchestra at the 2022 Lucerne Festival. Performances for the 22-23′ season include the Detroit Symphony, Nashville Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Berkeley Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony and Alabama Symphony Orchestra.
A charming southern upbringing exposed Nabors to many deep-rooted musical ideals, many of which are rooted in spirituality; one of the main principles that inspires Nabors’ music. Much of his music deals with new reflections on life, nature, and the human condition. As a pianist, he is proficient in many styles and plays in several groups, functioning as a church musician, keyboardist in a R&B/Neo Soul band, and classical artist. Having a hand in several genres plays a large role in the type of sound spaces that Nabors creates. It has also broadened his creative/technical facility in realizing his compositional ideas.
He was named the 2018-19 Composer-in-Residence with the Castle of Our Skins organization in Boston, MA; a 2019 composer fellow in the American Composer’s Orchestra Earshot program with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra; a 2019 composer fellow with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra’s Composer Lab; and 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 2020 Fulbright scholarship recipient to Sydney, Australia, studying with composer Carl Vine at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Nabors earned both a Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degree 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 degree from the School of the Arts at Samford University in Birmingham, AL, where he studied composition with Sarana Chou and piano with Kathryn Fouse.