Across the Grain is a percussion/bassoon duo comprised of Jeff Barudin and Susan Nelson.

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 Across the Grain was created to explore the exciting partnership of bassoon and percussion. We are committed to recording and performing music that celebrates this unique pairing while exploring new sonic possibilities. We have been performing together for nearly ten years and have recently commissioned:

Recent concert programs have included pieces by noted composers such as Daniel McCarthy, Alexandre Ouzounoff, Nathan Daughtrey, Michael Isaacson, Gene Koshinski, Thomas Priest, and Alfonso Fuentes. We have also participated in the world-premiere performance and recording of David Ciancanglini’s award-winning “Seikilos Quartet” (2012). 

We are both dedicated pedagogues and hope to use this duo as a means to teach important chamber music skills. In addition to performances, we offer clinics and masterclasses, and welcome the opportunity to work with and provide insight for student chamber ensembles.


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Dr. Jeffrey Barudin is a dynamic and innovative percussion performer and pedagogue. He has performed as a soloist and ensemble member around the world, including several performances at PASICs and PAS Days of Percussion. He has also participated in numerous world premiere performances and recordings. His playing has been praised as having "...the naturalness of conversation" with "joy that cascades from every note."

He has performed with a variety of acclaimed musical ensembles, including performances with the Illinois Symphony, Toledo Symphony, Lansing Symphony, and Lancaster Festival Orchestra (OH). He has been featured as a concerto soloist with the Town & Country Symphony Orchestra (MO) and the Saint Louis Civic Orchestra, and recently performed the world premiere of a concerto for marimba and wind quintet by Dr. Zachary Cairns. He has shared the stage with artists ranging from the Beach Boys to soprano Christine Brewer.

Dr. Barudin can be heard on several commercially available CD's, including the Grammy-winning “Songs of Innocence and Experience”, composed by William Bolcom and conducted by Maestro Leonard Slatkin.  Other CD appearances include performances with the University of Michigan Symphony Band, the University of Michigan Percussion Ensemble, and the Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition. He has worked with several important composers, collaborating closely with Michael Daugherty for his timpani concerto “Raise the Roof” and Bright Sheng for his marimba concerto “Colors of Crimson”.  He has also worked with noted composers David T. Little, Kristin Kuster, and David Biedenbender.

He is currently an Associate Professor of Music at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO where he coordinates the percussion studio and directs the LU Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Barudin is an in-demand percussionist in St. Louis, where he is the Principal Timpanist with the St. Louis Civic Orchestra and a frequent collaborator with Chamber Project STL. He received his DMA and MM degrees from the University of Michigan, and his BS in Music Education from Penn State University.  His primary instructors were Dan Armstrong, Gifford Howarth, Michael Udow, and Joseph Gramley.

Dr. Barudin has articles published in Percussive Notes and Percussive Arts Society Educators Companion, and his compositions are published by C-Alan Publications, Innovative Percussion, and Heartland Publications. He is proud to be a Yamaha Performing Artist, and also endorses Sabian cymbals, Innovative Percussion mallets and products, and Black Swamp percussion.


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Dr. Susan Nelson is the Associate Professor of Bassoon and Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Studies at Bowling Green State University (BGSU), Ohio, and enjoys an active career as a performer, teacher, and clinician. Dr. Nelson is an advocate for new music as well as chamber music for the bassoon, and is the director of the non-profit organization Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition (BCMCC). She has also taught bassoon and theory at Stephen F. Austin State University and played with the Stone Fort Wind Quintet in Nacogdoches, Texas. In the summer Dr. Nelson teaches at various camps, including BGSU’s Double Reed Camp and The Renova Festival. She has performed with the Classical Music Festival in Eisenstadt, Austria, Michigan Opera Theatre, Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, Toledo Symphony Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra, Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, Adrian Symphony Orchestra, and Helena Symphony, among others. She has also given solo performances at the International Double Reed Society Conferences in Redlands (CA), Oxford (OH), Appleton (WI), New York, and Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Nelson taught at both Adrian (MI) and Heidelberg (OH) Colleges and was a member of the Heidelberg faculty wind quintet. She also held the position of principal bassoon in the Great Falls Symphony and was a member of the Chinook Winds quintet in Great Falls, Montana. She can be heard on Elements, the newest CD release from the BCMCC through MSR Classics, which features the winning works from the 2012 and 2014 BCMCC competitions. Dr. Nelson is a graduate of the University of Kansas, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Michigan. Her primary teachers include Jeffrey Lyman, Carl Rath, and Alan Hawkins.