John Nelson

What inspires your love of music?

When I was a child and teenager, inexpensive boxed LPs were sold in the checkout line of the grocery store. They were mainly comprised of the "old goodies" that appealed to the average person. I bought the whole set, a week or two at a time, and listened to them all. That was the start of it.

What initially drew you to the CSO?

In those days the CSO offered a series of "popular" concerts conducted by Walter Hendl. This series presented the same repertoire that was on my records: Rachmaninov, Rimsky-Korsakov and the other composers' Top Ten works. Being 16, I was old enough to go downtown at night with a friend, so I started attending live performances.

In those years my horizons expanded, and my love of the excitement of live performance took over. During that period, I managed to see Fritz Reiner a few times and also Igor Stravinsky. As I sat in the last rows of the gallery, my lifelong passion for great music and the CSO [became] entrenched.

Why do you feel it’s important to support the CSOA as a member of the Theodore Thomas Society?

I have included the CSO in my estate plans because I hope that the experiences that I had can be available for future generations. Both old music and new music performed live by a world-class ensemble opens our minds and hearts to human potential.

It is not only our cultural legacy, but an art form that needs to remain living, for now and future composers and audiences.

Glen Madeja and Janet Steidl
Theodore Thomas Society members
Explore more
Leoni Zverow McVey
Theodore Thomas Society member
Explore more
Rick and Pat Berlet
Theodore Thomas Society members
Explore more
Support your orchestra
Give today