Art, Music, and Theatre
Instructor of Clarinet
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Nathan Balester enjoys an active career teaching and performing throughout the Northeast and Midwest. As an orchestral musician, he performs regularly with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Peoria Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, as well as numerous other regional orchestras around Illinois. With experience in both modern techniques and folk music, Nathan also plays informally with several improvisational ensembles as well as Klezmer and Balkan ensembles. 

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Nathan began studying both clarinet and saxophone in grade school studying with a variety of teachers in the greater Cleveland area. He participated in pre-college programs through the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Jazz at the Music Settlement (JAMS) program.

In 2012, Nathan enrolled at Ithaca College where he earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education (2016) and studied with Richard Faria as well as Richard MacDowell. He went on to earn a Master of Music at SIU Carbondale under Eric Mandat. He is currently in the final phase of his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he studied with J. David Harris and Janice Minor. 

Nathan is based in Champaign where he is working on his dissertation examining pedagogical approaches to extended techniques. Currently, he works as a freelance clarinetist and is on the teaching faculty at the University of Illinois Springfield, the Illinois Community Music Academy in Urbana, and Champaign branch of The Music Shoppe. When not teaching or making music, Nathan enjoys exploring state parks, kayaking, and swimming.


M.M. Clarinet Performance and Literature
B.M.  Ithaca College