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Geoffrey Gordon

New York City, NY         

Geoffrey Gordon’s list of works includes orchestral and chamber music—vocal and instrumental—as well as scores for theater, dance and film. His music has been called “brilliant” (Boston Globe), “stunning” (Milwaukee Journal), “wonderfully idiomatic” (Salt Lake Tribune), “haunting” (Strings Magazine) and “remarkable” (Fanfare). Chicago Tribune music critic John von Rhein called Mr. Gordon’s lux solis aeterna, premiered in January, 2009, by Fulcrum Point New Music Project, “a cosmic beauty … of acutely crafted music.” And music critic Lawrence Johnson, of Classical Review, called Mr. Gordon’s work Tiger Psalms, “a very impressive and significant world premiere … the composer makes the music sing magnificently.”


A winner of the Aaron Copland Award, Mr. Gordon was a composer-in-residence at the Aaron Copland House twice during the 2008-09 season. His work has been funded by the Barlow Endowment, the National Endowment for the Arts, the United Performing Arts Fund, the Concert Artists Guild, the American Composers Forum, Meet the Composer, the MacArthur Foundation, the American Music Center, the Abelson Foundation, the Mary Flagler Cary Trust and the Bush Foundation. He has been in residence at the La Napoule Arts Foundation in Cannes, and at the historic Cliff Dweller Club in Chicago. He has been nominated for the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Elise Stoeger Prize, and recognized by the Academy of Arts and Letters. He has received academic fellowship support from the University of Wisconsin, Boston University, New York University and the Guildhall in London.


Over the past several seasons, Mr. Gordon’s works have been performed more than fifty times on three continents, including premieres conducted by rising stars including Rory Macdonald, James Gaffigan, Christophe Mueller and Ilan Volkov, and featuring soloists Toke Møldrup, Moshe Aharonov, Megumi Kanda and Carol Wincenc. Next season and beyond, highlights include new orchestral works for celebrated soloists Andrew Bain (French horn), Amy Dickson (saxophone), Simon Desbruslais (trumpet) and William Helmers (bass clarinet), as well as commissions/performances from the Copenhagen Philharmonic, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Portland Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, Gemeaux Quartett, Ensemble Matisse, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Escher Quartet, Fulcrum Point New Music Project, Le Train Bleu, LUNAR Ensemble, Great Noise Ensemble, Third Angle Ensemble and the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, among others. In 2013-14, he will spend time in residence in Copenhagen, at the invitation of the Danish Arts Council, to continue work on a new theater piece, featuring avant garde bassist/vocalist, Kalina Goudeva


He is the inaugural winner of the Abelson Foundation Prize, funding a new work for mezzo soprano and mixed chamber ensemble. Fallen Eve, a setting of five texts by the poet Ted Hughes, was premiered in 2005 by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). Fallen Eve was also the centerpiece of a major Franco-American music festival in Paris in May, 2007, with reciprocal performances in Washington, DC, in April, 2008. He is a 2004 winner of a Barlow Endowment commission, through which he composed a new work for Duo46. Fancywork premiered as part of the Cortona Contemporary Music Festival, outside Florence, Italy, on 17 July 2006. A series of US performances, including the US premiere at Sundin Hall in Minneapolis in September, 2006, followed. Also in March, 2004, Mr. Gordon’s works were featured as part of a solo concert on the esteemed North River Music Series at the Greenwich House in New York City. Cool RED Cool, a jazz-tinged chamber work for seven players, won the 2000 Andy Warhol Social Observer Prize, receiving world premiere performances at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. (Peter Dobrin, of the Philadelphia Inquirer, called the work, “a stunner.”)


He has been featured on the cover of M Magazine, and profiled on National Public Radio. His work has been broadcast on WFMT in Chicago and WNYC in New York. Mr. Gordon has also served as an ASCAP representative in Washington, lobbying Congress on behalf of copyright protection and composers’ rights. He serves as composer-in-residence for the Boston-based Xanthos Ensemble and is a staff composer for the American Composers Orchestra in New York City.


Meditation and Allegro for Viola and Ensemble

This is a live performance of composer Geoffrey Gordon’s Meditation and Allegro for Viola and Ensemble, featuring soloist Moshe Aharonov and Ensemble Meitar, conducted by Ilan Volkov–5 February 2011, Einav Culture Center, Tel Aviv, Israel.

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Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (after Thomas Mann’s Doktor Faustus)

This is the premiere performance of Geoffrey Gordon’s Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, after Thomas Mann’s novel, Doktor Faustus. Commissioned for the Copenhagen Philharmonic, and their principle cello, Toke Møldrup, this performance, from the Royal Danish Academy of Music (January 31, 2014), features guest conductor, Rory Macdonald. The recording was made possible by Danish Radio, and includes the broadcast commentary (in Danish) at the conclusion of the performance.

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Tiger Psalms

This is the world premiere performance of Tiger Psalms, featuring Fulcrum Point New Music Project, soloist Julia Bentley and conductor Stephen Burns, from March 22, 2011, at the Harris Theatre, Chicago.

“Like Alban Berg, Gordon’s modified serialism brings an individual and communicative style to his tone rows … this is a very impressive and significant world premiere by a composer we should be hearing more from.”
— Lawrence A. Johnson, Chicago Classical Review

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