Michael Zev Gordon

Michael Zev Gordon

Born in London, Michael Zev Gordon is a composer of highly crafted pieces with a strong lyrical charge. Influences from his wide range of teachers - Holloway, Knussen, Donatoni, Andriessen and Woolrich - have coalesced into a subtle, individual voice, characterized by richly varied musical colours - the tonal and atonal happily rub shoulders in his work - always at the service of larger, expressive goals. Memory has been a recurring subject in his work.

Gordon's music has been performed by many leading ensembles, including commissions for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, London Sinfonietta, Britten Sinfonia and Chroma. Soloists include Carolin Widmann, Huw Watkins, Nicholas Daniel, Toby Spence, Richard Watkins and Alina Ibragimova. He also enjoys writing for choir - involving among others the choir of King's College, Cambridge, New London Chamber Choir and the BBC Singers - and has twice won the choral category of the British Composer Awards. The second of these was for Allele for 40 voices, a work written on the subject of genes, in collaboration with the poet Ruth Padel and scientists from King's College London. Other awards include a Prix Italia for his radiophonic work A Pebble in the Pond, while On Memory, an NMC portrait disc of piano music, was in The Times top 10 contemporary CDs of 2009.

Though mostly composing for professionals, Gordon is also strongly committed to working with students, amateur and younger players. He led composition teaching on the Contemporary Music for Amateurs (CoMA) summer school in 2008; Joshi's Dance was included in the Associated Board's grade 3 violin syllabus of 2012-15; while he has long taught composition in higher education - at the universities of Southampton and Durham, the Royal College of Music, the Royal Northern College of Music and the University of Birmingham, where he is now Professor of Composition.

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Michael Zev Gordon
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