September 23, 2019
Leo Nestor Headshot
Leo Cornelius Nestor, conductor, composer, and teacher, died Sunday, Sept. 22.

Leo Nestor was Professor Emeritus of Choral and Sacred Music in the Rome School of Music, Drama, and Art, having retired from the University in 2016. Before his retirement, Nestor had served as the Justine Bayard Ward Professor of Music, director of Choral Studies, director of the Institute of Sacred Music, a member of the conducting faculty, and co-operating member of the composition faculty.

Nestor earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music-Composition from California State University, East Bay, a Master of Music degree in Choral Music from the University of Southern California, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Choral Music, also from USC.

Prior to coming to Catholic University, Nestor served as the Music Director at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception from 1984-2001. He composed music for four papal visits to the U.S., and he was on the drafting committee for the U.S. Bishops’ 2007 document Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship. Nestor was also a founding member of the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians.

In recognition of his lifetime of musical service to the Catholic church, he was named a papal knight by Pope Francis. The honor was bestowed upon him in 2016 when he was inducted as a Knight of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great.