Wesleyan portrait of Neely  Bruce

Neely Bruce

John Spencer Camp Professor of Music

Professor of Music

Music Studios, 210


BMU University of Alabama
DMU University of Illinois Urbana
MAA Wesleyan University
MMU University of Illinois Urbana

Neely Bruce

Bruce is a composer/performer. His compositions include three full-length operas; five one-act operas; works for orchestra, chamber orchestra, and wind ensemble; about 300 solo songs; chamber music; electronic music and documentary film scores; and many hours of solo piano music and other keyboard works. Recent major works include Circular 14: The Apotheosis of Aristides, for eight soloists, two choruses and large orchestra. He is currently engaged in a series of seventeen CD-length recitals comprising his complete works for solo piano. 

He is a scholar of American music, with a particular interest in the music of Henry Brant; Anthony Philip Heinrich; Arthur Farwell; John Cage; music by American women; and the tradition of sacred music that culminates in The Sacred Harp. He is the only pianist to have performed the complete solo vocal music of Charles Ives. 

Bruce was born in Memphis, Tennessee and grew up in various places in Mississippi, Georgia, and Alabama. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Alabama and a Master of Music degree and a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He came to Wesleyan in the fall of 1974. He has been involved in several major premieres, including: HPSCHD by John Cage and Lejaren Hiller; Meteor Farm and other spatial works by Henry Brant; and the twentieth-century revival of Rip Van Winkle by George Bristow. 

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

By appointment (Email contact preferred)


Fall 2024
MUSC 203 - 01
Chromatic Harmony

MUSC 243 - 01
Music of the 19th Cent.