Maureen is a founding member and first violinist of the Grammy-nominated Enso String Quartet, which formed while she was earning her Masters degree at Yale University. She keeps a busy touring schedule with engagements both across the US and abroad and has led the quartet to claim victories at the 2003 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, 2004 Banff International String Quartet Competition, Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and Chamber Music Yellow Springs.
As a two-time winner of the Greenfield Competition, violinist Maureen Nelson appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra both in 1990 and 1991, and has since enjoyed international success as a chamber musician, soloist and orchestral player. She has been awarded top prizes in numerous competitions and was an NFAA/Arts awardee and Presidential Scholar finalist in the Arts.
A native of Pennsylvania, Maureen was enrolled in Temple University’s Center for Gifted Young Musicians at the age of twelve and began attending the Curtis Institute of Music while still in high school. She holds degrees from Yale University and the Curtis Institute of Music. Her major teachers include Shmuel Ashkenasi, Jascha Brodsky, and Yumi Ninomiya Scott.
Maureen has participated in music festivals around the world including Evian, Sarasota, SummerFest La Jolla, Festival d’Aix en Provence, Great Lakes Chamber Music, Pacific Music (Japan), Schleswig-Holstein (Germany), and St. Bart’s Music Festivals. She has been on the faculty of Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute and adjunct faculty at Shepherd School of Music, Rice University and is currently faculty at Interlochen Arts Academy for the Adult Chamber Music Camp.
While studying at the Musikhochschule Detmold in Germany, Maureen was concertmaster of the Detmolder Kammerorchester led by conductors including Christoph Poppen and Tibor Varga. She has collaborated on projects with the Jose Limon Dance Company and appears frequently for Musiqa, the Houston based new music series, premiering many new works. Recently, she premiered Joan Tower’s Piano Quintet with the composer at the keyboard at the legendary Dumbarton Estate. She has performed live on numerous radio stations including Australia’s ABC, Canada’s CBC, Houston’s KUHF, Chicago’s WFMT, New York’s WQXR, and for NPR's Performance Today and MPR’s Saint Paul Sunday.
Maureen is married to clarinetist Richie Hawley and together they enjoy the company of their superdog, Gidget.