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Ariana Nelson, a Seattle and Houston based cellist, is the newest member of the Carpe Diem String Quartet. She also is a member of Houston Grand Opera Orchestra, and a co-founder of the Seattle-based group the Pacific Crest Trio. She frequently performs with other ensembles in the Houston area, including the Houston Symphony, Houston Ballet, and is a core member of the new music collective Loop38. Ariana teaches cello as an adjunct faculty member at Texas Southern University, and is a coach for AFA’s Chamber Music Academy. She is an avid proponent of new music and loves experimenting with different styles, including improvisation and folk music. Her eclectic tastes have led her to appearances at Jazz at Lincoln Center, performances for patients recovering in Mount Sinai Hospital’s transplant ward, and a performance with the Silk Road Ensemble at Tanglewood. In 2015 Ariana was invited to perform in a small chamber orchestra to accompany Yo-Yo Ma as part of the Kennedy Center Honors event. Ariana has received many honors as a soloist, most recently winning third prize at the 2016 Eisemann Young Artists Competition in Dallas, TX. Ariana received her Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School in May 2017 where she studied with Darrett Adkins. She completed her Bachelor of Music degree at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where she graduated cum laude in May 2015.

Ariana Nelson


Seattle, WA | Houston, TX

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