Neely Bruce (born January 21, 1944), Professor of Music and American Studies at Wesleyan University, is a composer, conductor, pianist and scholar of American music.
Bruce's undergraduate degree is from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. His DMA is from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Bruce also received an MAA from Wesleyan University and an MMU from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His principal teachers were Ben Johnston, Hubert Kessler, J. F. Goossen, Lara Hoggard, Charles Hamm, Byrnell Figler, Roy McAllister, Soulima Stravinsky and Sophia Rosoff. Bruce was one of the seven keyboard players in the 1969 premiere of John Cage's HPSCHD. He has been visiting professor and artist-in-residence at Middlebury College, Bucknell University, the University of Michigan, and at Brooklyn College. He is the chorus director for Connecticut Opera, and director of music at South Congregational Church in Middletown, Connecticut.
He is the first pianist ever to play the entire song oeuvre of Charles Ives, which he performed with several singers as part of the Ives Vocal Marathon.
He also produced a new adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, which uses American popular music, such as rock and roll, pop, and rap.
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