Nathan has shown an incredible ability to express himself through his instrument and has the ability to add a personal touch to the music without deviating from the composers writing.
American saxophonist, Nathan Mertens is currently based Tokyo, Japan as a recipient of the prestigious Monbukagakusho Research Student Scholarship. As such, Mertens is the first American Saxophonist to formally study in Japan and is primarily researching Japanese Saxophone Performance and Pedagogy with Masato Kumoi at Kunitcahi College of Music.
Mertens has performed concertos with the Busan Philharmonic Orchestra, Hastings Symphony Orchestra, and The University of Texas Symphony Orchestra. He has been a finalist for the North American Saxophone Alliance Solo Competition, Arapahoe Philharmonic Concerto Competition, Eastern Connecticut Symphony Instrumental Competition, and the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Competition. Mertens has also received numerous honors and recognition at the Music Teachers National Association Young Artist and Chamber Winds Competitions on multiple occasions. As an advocate for new music, he has also premiered works by John Mackey, Andrew Boss, Troy Armstrong, Russell Podgorsek, Bruce Pennycook, and Brandon Scott Rumsey.
Mertens graduated from The University of Texas at Austin – Butler School of Music with his Doctor of Music Arts degree in Saxophone Performance while studying with Dr. Stephen Page. He also received his Master’s degree at the University of Texas and did additional work at the Université Européenne de Saxophone in Gap, France. He completed his undergraduate work at Hastings College in Nebraska, with Debra McKim-Rhodes, graduating magna cum laude with degrees in Saxophone Performance and Woodwind Pedagogy.