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Maestro Norman Nelson (1931-2018)

  • 3781 Phiillips Rd Sooke, BC Canada (map)

The Board of the Sooke Philharmonic Society is saddened to confirm the passing of the orchestra’s founder and longtime Music Director Norman Nelson.  Maestro Nelson died in hospital early Friday, February 23 surrounded by family members.  

In 1997, Maestro Nelson was the driving force behind the creation of the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra. His move to Sooke, with his wife Jenny, followed an illustrious international career as a violinist, concertmaster, conductor and academic.  

His passing is a huge loss for the Sooke community he so loved, and especially for family, his beloved orchestra and chorus and a host of friends, students, and colleagues he inspired and served though a lifetime of making music.  

While the Orchestra will not be the same without his leadership and spirit, the Board is dedicated to ensuring that his musical legacy will go on for years to come.  Nicholas Fairbank and Yariv Aloni, guest conductors already familiar to followers of the Sooke Philharmonic, will each be holding the baton for the April and June concerts this season.  And in the continuation of the community tradition initiated by the Nelsons, Michael Klazek will again host the ever-popular Fling in July.  

A private family memorial service is planned.  The Board will announce arrangements for a larger public celebration of Maestro Nelson’s life and achievements at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sooke Philharmonic Society, P.O. Box 767, Sooke, B.C. V9Z 1H7 or to the Harmony Project, 3781 Phillips Road, Sooke, B.C. V8Z 0Y3 or online (select "Donate Now" at