Angela Zator Nelson was appointed as Section Percussionist and Associate Principal Timpanist to the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1999. A native of the Chicago area, Angela was the Principal Percussionist of the Civic Orchestra, known as the training orchestra for the Chicago Symphony, for three years. She graduated from the Northwestern University School of Music where she studied with James Ross and Patricia Dash of the Chicago Symphony and marimba virtuoso Michael Burritt. She then continued her education in Philadelphia at Temple University, where her principal instructor was Alan Abel of the Philadelphia Orchestra, whom she later replaced. Angela graduated in 2001 with her Masters degree in Music Performance.
Ms. Nelson has participated in numerous music festivals, including the Pacific Music Festival, the National Repertory Orchestra, and the Tanglewood Music Festival. She is also an active chamber musician, performing with such groups as Philadelphia’s Network for New Music and Orchestra 2001. Most recently, Angela, along with Philadelphia Orchestra Timpanist Don Liuzzi, performed Bartok’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion along with renowned pianists Martha Argerich and Alexander Gurning at the Saratoga Chamber Music Festival in Saratoga Springs, NY. Since joining the Orchestra, Angela has enjoyed performing regularly with the Philadelphia Orchestra Percussion Group in children’s outreach concerts. She joined the faculty at Temple University’s Esther Boyer College of Music in 2001 and teaches privately as well.
Angela made her solo debut in 2002 with the Bay-Atlantic Symphony of New Jersey performing Ney Rosauro’s Marimba Concerto. She then performed Maurice Wright’s Concertpiece for Marimba with Temple University’s Symphony Orchestra later that year. Angela and her husband, David, also a Temple University graduate, enjoy working as a percussion duo performing recitals and educational concerts for both children and adults.