Nicholas Alexander Brown is a Honduran-American library executive, arts producer, and musician based in Prince George's County, Maryland. He currently serves as acting co-CEO and chief operating officer for communication and outreach at the Prince George's County Memorial Library System and was named 2021 Library Journal Marketer of the Year in recognition of his collaborative approach to library marketing and community engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic. He previously served as director of special productions & initiatives at Washington Performing Arts, where he led Mars Arts D.C., Latin community programs, and produced special productions, such as the Yo-Yo Ma Bach Project Simulcast & Livestream.
In 2019, Brown was named to the Library Journal Movers & Shakers - Innovators list for his work in programming and community engagement. He is currently an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Library and Information Science at The Catholic University of America and a past president of the District of Columbia Library Association and Beta Phi Mu - Iota Chapter. He has also held leadership roles with the American Library Association's Rainbow Roundtable, including chair of the Membership Promotion Committee and co-chair of the Stonewall Awards - Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award Committee.
Prior to joining Washington Performing Arts, Brown served on the Librarian of Congress' strategic programming team (Office of Special Events and Public Programs), developing and coordinating selected institution-wide public programs and outreach initiatives. He held the position of music specialist/concert producer for the Library's Music Division from 2012-2017, programming the historic Concerts from the Library of Congress series, developing and managing strategic partnerships, overseeing or supporting selected commissioning projects, and promoting the Library's performing arts collections. Brown co-produced the Library of Congress Bibliodiscotheque series, featuring Gloria Gaynor and Tim Gunn. He was the lead producer for major projects such as the Irving Fine Centennial Festival, the Oliver Knussen Residency, and the DC-debut of Ensemble Intercontemporain.
Brown previously worked in the Office of the President and Provost at Harvard University, and held internships in the Office of the First Lady at The White House (Obama Administration) and in the Boston Symphony Orchestra Press Office. He is a current member of the Financial Empowerment Center @ Prince George's Community College Advisory Board and advisory boards for both the Catholic University and University of Maryland iSchool graduate library and information science programs.
Brown also has a wide-ranging career as a conductor, French horn player, and vocalist. He is the music director/founder of The Irving Fine Society, and recently concluded tenures as conductor of the Library of Congress Chorale and Washington Sängerbund. He led the Library’s Chorale in performances during recent Gershwin Prize festivities, honoring Billy Joel and Willie Nelson. Through service in the Army National Guard, Brown was the junior enlisted conductor and principal horn player of the 215th Army Band. He has performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Boston's Symphony Hall and Jordan Hall, Tanglewood, Philadelphia's Kimmel Center, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Barbican, Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Cité de la Musique (Paris), Salisbury Cathedral, the Embassies of France, Germany, and Austria (in Washington, DC), DAR Constitution Hall, the University of Klagenfurt (Austria), Mirabell Palace in Salzburg, and Teatro Nacional Manuel Bonilla in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
Previous conducting posts include music director and founder of Boston Unhinged Chamber Players, staff conductor for Boston Opera Collaborative, and assistant conductor of the King’s College London Symphony Orchestra, Brandeis University Chorus, Brandeis University Chamber Choir, and Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra. As a guest conductor, he has collaborated with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Honduras, Orion Symphony Orchestra, Kammerphilharmonie Graz, Durward Contemporary Chamber Music Ensemble, and Friday Morning Music Club Chorale. In conducting workshops and master classes he has studied with Jorma Panula, Markus Lehtinen, Achim Holub, Diane Wittry, and Anthony Maiello. His principal conducting teachers include Jeffrey Rink, Toby Purser, Dominic Grier, Neal Hampton, and Stephen Czarkowski. Brown has conducted the London Philharmonic Choir, the U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own", the U.S. Army Orchestra, and the U.S. Navy Band Northeast in rehearsals.
Brown is a Baritone vocalist and has performed as a chorister with the London Symphony Chorus, London Philharmonic Choir, BBC Symphony Chorus, and Tanglewood Festival Chorus under the batons of Sir Colin Davis, Lorin Maazel, Christoph von Dohnányi, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Sir Andrew Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Oliver Knussen, Vladimir Jurowski, Edward Gardner, and Keith Lockhart. He has also performed with the Brandeis University Chorus & Chamber Choir and Voices of Freedom. As a soloist he has presented programs in the United States and Europe. He regularly sings the national anthem at government and military events, as well as major sporting events. Brown performed the anthem at Carla Hayden’s swearing-in ceremony as Librarian of Congress, with Chief Justice John Roberts and Speaker Paul Ryan presiding. His credits as a French horn player include Orquesta Filarmónica de Honduras (soloist), Commonwealth Brass Quintet, King’s College London Symphony Orchestra (associate principal), Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra (principal), Opera Camerata of Washington, Wellesley Symphony Orchestra, Brandeis Wind Ensemble, and the Valley Forge Military Academy & College Regimental Band (principal).
Brown was regular program annotator for Concerts from the Library of Congress and has guest co-hosted the Library’s concert broadcasts on WETA. He has lectured for the Library of Congress, Boston Lyric Opera (at the Boston Athenaeum), and Boston Modern Orchestra Project/The Irving Fine Society. Brown has been a panelist at the Chamber Music America National Conference and has presented at academic conferences hosted by the University of Oxford, Carleton University (Ottawa), and Technische Universität Dortmund. He is a contributor to the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and the Arts (Oxford University Press, 2015) and Popular Music and Public Diplomacy (Transcript Verlag, 2018), has written for The Horn Book, Library Journal, Marketing Library Services, Brandeis Magazine, Library of Congress' In the Muse Blog, and HuffPost Blog. Brown is a past chair of the Library of Congress GLOBE Steering Committee and past president of the Library’s Hispanic Cultural Society. He is a member of Phi Alpha Theta, the international history honors society.
Brown holds a Master of Music in Music (Musicology) from King's College London and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from The Catholic University of America. He also holds a professional certificate in public library leadership from edX/MichiganX. Brown graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brandeis University, receiving a B.A. in Music (High Honors) and History, with a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Brown’s Master’s dissertation is entitled “That New American Salute: Leonard Bernstein’s Examination of 20th Century American Social Identity in Songfest,” completed under the supervision of Dr. Andy Fry. His research and performance activities have been supported by grants from the Brandeis University Office of the Arts, the Center for German and European Studies, and the Max Kade Foundation.
He lives in Prince George's County, Maryland with his partner Christopher Neuhaus, and two dachshund rescue pups Dolly Parton Madison and Teddy Kennedy Obama.
Nicholas Alexander Brown (Courtesy Library Journal)