Michael Gordon

Colleges, School and Institutes

Biography

Before coming to Birmingham, I taught composition at the University of Southampton and at the Royal College of Music. My works have been performed by many leading artists, including Britten Sinfonia, London Sinfonietta, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and EXAUDI. Awards for composition include a 2004 Prix Italia for A Pebble in the Pond, a large-scale radiophonic work on the subject of memory; and twice winner of the choral category of the British Composer Awards in 2008 and 2011, the last for Allele for 40 voices – on the subject of music and genes.

In recent years, I have been featured composer at the Park Lane Group series and on the CoMA summer school. My work for piano, On Memory, played by Andrew Zolinsky, was one of The Times’ top 10 contemporary albums of 2010; while Tête-à-Tête and CHROMA premiered Act 1 of Icarus at the Riverside Studios in summer 2011. An extract of Icarus was also presented in the Royal Opera House’s Exposure programme at the Linbury Theatre in London in 2012. Further performances in 2012 also include Glass Mountain, a new work for CHROMA’s 15th birthday celebrations at King’s Place; and Bohortha, a commission for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Neeme Järvi. 2013 sees a new work for tenor, horn and strings at the Cheltenham Music Festival.

Research interests

My research area is composition. I have had a particular interest in exploring the relationship between the present and the past through composition, with special attention to the workings of memory. I am also interested in dialogues between Western and non-Western materials in composition, and in the subjects of the musical fragment and time in music. Technically, I continue to work on developing a musical syntax that can accommodate a wide range of disparate materials – from tonal to atonal. Poetically, my music pulls between the passionate and contemplative.

Recently I have taken a new departure in working on a major piece in conjunction with a scientific study of genetics. I hope to continue such interdisciplinary collaboration in the future.

Willingness to take PhD students

Yes

PhD projects

Michael Zev Gordon's research area is composition. He has had a particular interest in exploring the relationship between the present and the past through composition, with special attention to the workings of memory. He is also interested in dialogues between Western and non-Western materials in composition, and in the subjects of the musical fragment and time in music. Technically, he continues to work on developing a musical syntax that can accommodate a wide range of disparate materials - from tonal to atonal. Poetically, his music pulls between the passionate and contemplative.

Professor Gordon is happy to supervise postgraduate students interested in instrumental/vocal composition.