Michael Gordon’s music merges subtle rhythmic invention with incredible power embodying, in the words of The New Yorker’s Alex Ross, “the fury of punk rock, the nervous brilliance of free jazz and the intransigence of classical modernism.”
Over the past 25 years, Gordon has produced a strikingly diverse body of work, ranging from large-scale pieces for high-energy ensembles to major orchestral commissions to works conceived specifically for the recording studio. Transcending categorization, this music represents the collision of mysterious introspection and brutal directness.
His orchestral and chamber works include Rewriting Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, Sunshine of your Love, Potassium, Industry, The Sad Park, and Trance, among others. Works for theater and opera include What To Wear, Acquanetta, Lost Objects, and Van Gogh. He has also had numerous collaborations with artists in other media, most frequently with filmmaker Bill Morrison and Ridge Theater.
Gordon has been commissioned by Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the BBC Proms, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Settembre Musica, the Holland Music Festival, the Dresden Festival, and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival, among others. The recipient of multiple awards and grants, he has been honored by the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Born in Miami Beach in 1956, Gordon holds a bachelor of arts from New York University and a master’s in music from the Yale School of Music. He is co-founder and co-artistic director of New York’s legendary music collective Bang On a Can. His music is published by Red Poppy Music (ASCAP) and is distributed worldwide by G. Schirmer, Inc.