ESP Biography

THOMAS NIELSEN, English/Music Major at Columbia University

Major: English and Music

College/Employer: Columbia University

Year of Graduation: 2018

Picture of Thomas Nielsen

Brief Biographical Sketch:

Thomas Nielsen has played classical piano since age five, when he started studying music at the Peabody Preparatory. At the age of eight, he began taking composition and music theory lessons as well, demonstrating a young passion for performing his own music alongside the music of others. His compositions include works for chamber ensemble, symphony orchestra, and solo instruments. He took a gap year before starting at Columbia University in Fall of 2014, where he is double majoring in English and Music. with a minor in Chinese. He also enjoys scoring works for film and stage. His hobbies include reading fiction and poetry, hiking, numismatics, and exploring the hundreds of coffee shops in New York City.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

A388: David Foster Wallace in Splash Fall 2016 (Nov. 05, 2016)
Curious about one of the most preeminent writers of the last 30 years, but don't know where to start? Join fellow students in a roundtable conversation about David Foster Wallace's short stories and non-fictional writing that I hope will give you a primer to his longer works. We will read his short story "The Depressed Person," his commencement speech at Kenyon entitled "This Is Water," and, if we have time, nonfictional essays from his anthology "Consider the Lobster." We will be especially interested in exploring the nature of human empathy and how it plays out in different social scenarios and situations in Wallace's writing.

A389: Classical Music Before Bach in Splash Fall 2016 (Nov. 05, 2016)
Interested in classical music but unfamiliar with the 600 years of notated music that existed in Europe before the time of Bach? Look no further! In this class, we will review works from the Gregorian Chant up to Bach's near-contemporaries such as Dieterich Buxtehude and Claudio Monteverdi. You will learn about Renaissance musical notation and about how the modern system of notation developed from it.

A306: Understanding Classical Music: An Introduction in Splash Splash Fall 2015 (Nov. 14, 2015)
Classical music can be daunting at first, but fear no more! Take this course and go through 150 years of music, from the 1700s to the 1900s, and learn basic tools for appreciating and enjoying this diverse and broad genre of music.

A307: David Foster Wallace: An Introduction in Splash Splash Fall 2015 (Nov. 14, 2015)
David Foster Wallace – one of the most creative and inventive writers of our lifetimes, wrote some of the most intensely humanistic and powerful novels and short stories of the 21st century. In this class, read through one of his short stories and discuss it, gaining an introduction to the genius of his author.

H231: Listening to and Understanding Classical Music: An Introduction in Splash Spring 2015 (Apr. 18, 2015)
In this course, we will briefly and broadly overview Western classical music from Bach to the 20th century. Famous examples of each genre will be played, and we will think about questions important to considering music critically, such as: why do people write music? Why are some pieces timeless? What place does classical music have in the 21st century?