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Michael Zev Gordon

Nationality: British

Born in London, Michael Zev Gordon is a composer of highly crafted, powerfully expressive works. Influences from his wide range of teachers – Holloway, Knussen, Donatoni, Andriessen and Woolrich – have coalesced into an eclectic, individual voice, the tonal and atonal happily rubbing shoulders in his music; memory, time and a search for the serene have been recurring subjects. Gordon has written for a wide range of genres, and his works have been performed by many leading performers, including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, London Sinfonietta, King’s College Cambridge choir, Carolin Widmann, Huw Watkins, Nicholas Daniel, Toby Spence and Alina Ibragimova. Gordon has twice won the choral category of the British Composer Awards, the Prix Italia, and, in 2009, On Memory, his NMC piano music portrait disc, was in The Times top 10 contemporary CDs. A second portrait disc, of chamber music, on Resonus Classics, was released to critical acclaim in 2019, and features the Fidelio Trio and clarinetist Julian Bliss; Paul Driver, writing in the Sunday Times described the music as ‘a clockmaker’s craftsmanship [which] somehow combines with romantic phantasmagoria’. Projects in 2020 and 2021 include a third string quartet, for the Bozzini Quartet, and a new chamber opera – ‘The Fall of Icarus’. Gordon is strongly committed to working with students, amateur and younger players. He has led composition teaching on the Contemporary Music for Amateurs summer school, was Director of the Cheltenham Festival of Music Composer Academy from 2016-2018, and has been commissioned to write a new orchestral work for the London Schools Symphony Orchestra for their 70th anniversary, at the Barbican in 2021. Gordon has taught composition at the universities of Southampton and Durham, the RCM, the RNCM, and has also been invited to work with composers and performers internationally, including at Juilliard, Vanderbilt University, Oxford University, Antwerp Conservatorium and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. Since 2012, Gordon has been Professor of Composition at the University of Birmingham.
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