US/UK composer Geoffrey Gordon’s contributions to the contemporary music repertoire have been and continue to be exceptional. Intense and luxuriant harmony, passionate melody and superb handling of instrumentation and sonic textures define his music. His works include orchestral and chamber music—vocal and instrumental—as well as scores for theater, dance and film. His music has been called “darkly seductive” (New York Times), “complex, richly-satisfying ” (BBC Music Magazine), “stunning” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “iridescent and fierce” (The Chicago Tribune), “taut and exhilarating” (Classical Ear), “haunting” (Strings Magazine), “gripping” (Bachtrack) and “remarkable” (Fanfare). Chicago Tribune music critic John von Rhein called Mr. Gordon’s lux solis aeterna, “a cosmic beauty … of acutely crafted music.” The Philharmonia identifies “his infectious style and “an ear for melody”, the New York Times his “zest for sonic experimentation”.
Honoured by a number of residencies internationally, he has twice served as composer-in-residence at the Aaron Copland House and is winner of 2017 Mario Merz Prize for Music, an honor which included a major commission and premiere for the 2018 concert 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, the Cheswatyr Foundation 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 Boston University, New York University and the Guildhall in London.
Mr Gordon has worked with (or soon will work with) some of the best ensembles in the world, including The Philharmonia, the Munich Philharmonic, the Copenhagen Philharmonic, the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, the Bergen Philharmonic, the Minnesota Orchestra, Malmö Symfoniorkester, Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, the Cleveland Orchestra, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the English String Orchestra, the Milwaukee Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic, Britten Sinfonia, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, JACK Quartet, Ensemble Meitar, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players and the International Contemporary Ensemble. Future projects include new orchestral and chamber works in collaboration with top international soloists, including new works for saxophone soloist Tim McAllister, trombonist Yu Tamaki Hoso and BBC Young Musician horn soloist Benjamin Goldscheider. Mr. Gordon will be writing a new work for solo cello for cellist Benedict Klöckner which will be included in Mr. Klöckner’s recitals in Berlin (Philharmonic Hall, 25.6. 2021), Frankfurt (Alte Oper 11.12.2021) and New York (Carnegie Hall, November 2021). His choral work, Crucifixus, for double choir and solo cello, will be featured during the Holy Week Festival in London, in April, 2020, with the Choir of Royal Holloway, at St. John’s Smith Square.
Recently and upcoming, the Philharmonia gave the premiere of Geoffrey’s Gordon’s bass clarinet concerto Prometheus, after the treatment by Franz Kafka, at the Royal Festival Hall, London (www.philharmonia.co.uk/concerts/2132) in January, 2019. US and Nordic premieres followed in April, with the Minnesota Orchestra and Malmo Symphony (Sweden). A new chamber work based on research into the first vibrations of the universe commissioned by Muse-IC Project, founded by the “University Paris Sciences et Letters” and hosted by the Institut Curie and CNSM, premiered in 2019 in Paris, at the Salle Cortot, with members of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. His setting of the Karl Marx poem, Harmonie -an Jenny, for soprano and solo cello, premiered in Marx hometown of Trier, Germany, and then at the CBSO Centre in Birmingham, England, in performances by the world renowned Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, in September, 2018. His setting of Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale for SATB choir and solo cello premiered in May 2018 in Copenhagen, with the Mogens Dahl Chamber Choir and a new CD of cello works will be released on the BIS label in April of 2020, featuring the Copenhagen Philharmonic under Lan Shui. His Saint Blue, double concerto for trumpet, piano and strings has been released on CD (on the Signum label) by the English String Orchestra. His song cycles Peter Quince at the Clavier and Sonnets from Neruda premiered in March 2018 at the Arnold Schoenberg Center, Vienna, and in October 2017 Munich Philharmonic under James Gaffigan premiered his trumpet Concerto CHASE, after the sculptures of Giacometti. His cello sonata FATHOMS premiered at Carnegie Hall in December 2015, and his Winterleben for horn, mezzo and piano (commissioned for Los Angeles Philharmonic principal horn, Andrew Bain), premiered in August 2015 as part of the 47th International Horn Symposium in Los Angeles. He received the 2015 commission award from the American Music Project with a major new chamber work for clarinet and string quartet (the JACK Quartet and Anthony McGill, principal clarinet of New York Philharmonic) which premiered in New York City and Chicago. In 2016, he was awarded composer in residence at the International Centre for Composers in Visby, Sweden. Mr. Gordon has also served as an ASCAP representative in Washington, lobbying Congress on behalf of copyright protection and composers’ rights.