Ricky Ian Gordon's credits include MY LIFE WITH ALBERTINE, with Richard Nelson at Playwrights Horizons (Cast Recording, PS Classics, Vocal Score, Williamson, Represented by R&H Theatricals), DREAM TRUE, with Tina Landau at The Vineyard Theater (Recorded on PS Classics), THE TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD, with Jean Claude Van Itallie at Houston Grand Opera and The American Music Theater Festival,
Ricky Ian Gordon's credits include MY LIFE WITH ALBERTINE, with Richard Nelson at Playwrights Horizons (Cast Recording, PS Classics, Vocal Score, Williamson, Represented by R&H Theatricals), DREAM TRUE, with Tina Landau at The Vineyard Theater (Recorded on PS Classics), THE TIBETAN BOOK OF THE DEAD, with Jean Claude Van Itallie at Houston Grand Opera and The American Music Theater Festival, ONLY HEAVEN, with Langston Hughes for Encompass Opera (Recorded on PS Classics), STONEWALL/NIGHT VARIATIONS, with Tina Landau for En Garde Arts, STATES OF INDEPENDENCE, with Ms. Landau for The American Music Theater Festival and "AUTUMN VALENTINE," with Dorothy Parker, for Opera Omaha's 1992 Fall Festival. As composer-in-residence at The Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2001 and 2002, he wrote MORNING STAR, with William Hoffman. On March 13th, 2001, at Lincoln Center, he was presented as part of the American Songbook Series. "The New York Times" said, "If the music of Ricky Ian Gordon had to be defined by a single quality, it would be the bursting effervescence infusing songs that blithely blur the lines between art song and the high-end Broadway music of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim... It's caviar for a world gorging on pizza."
Mr. Gordon"s songs have been performed and recorded by many internationally known singers including Renee Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Deborah Voight, Andrea Marcovicci, Harolyn Blackwell, and Betty Buckley. Other recordings include two Nonesuch CD's: Audra McDonald's "Way Back To Paradise," and, "Bright Eyed Joy": The Songs Of Ricky Ian Gordon, and Water Music/A 2 Part Requiem on Of Eternal Light, the Catalyst/BMG Classics CD with Musica Sacra conducted by Richard Westenberg. Harolyn Blackwell, for RCA Victor, on the CD entitled, "Strange Hurt," recorded 'Genius Child', his cycle of ten Langston Hughes settings. Current projects include an opera of THE GRAPES OF WRATH with Michael Korie for Minnesota and Utah, slated for a February 2007 premiere, and FOR MY FAMILY, for which he is also the book writer and lyricist, which has already had a developmental workshop at The Sundance Theater Lab. His orchestral song cycle AND FLOWERS PICK THEMSELVES, which uses 5 poems by e. e. cummings, premiered October 29th, 2005 in Michigan.
His collaboration with choreographer Sean Curran, ART SONG DANCE premiered at The Joyce Theater in June 2005, and ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE premiered as part of Lincoln Center's New Visions Series American Songbook, and Great Performers Series, October 5th, 2005, with Todd Palmer as the clarinetist, Elizabeth Futral, soprano, and Melvin Chen as the pianist. Doug Varone directed and choreographed. Peter G. Davis in New York Magazine wrote "Both Gordon's" text and music are couched in an accessible idiom of disarming lyrical directness, a cleverly disguised faux navet that always resolves dissonant situations with grace and a sure sense of dramatic effect the mark of a born theater composer.
Published and represented by Williamson Music, the publishing company of The Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization, his publications include four songbooks, "A Horse With Wings," "Genius Child," "Only Heaven" and "Finding Home." Three publications herald a new relationship with publisher Carl Fischer Music as well "The Piano Music of Ricky Ian Gordon", "Songs For Our Time," and "Orpheus and Euridice."
Awards include the National Institute For Music Theater Award, the Stephen Sondheim Award, The Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla Music Theater Foundation Award, the Jonathan Larson Foundation Award, the Constance Klinsky Award, a National Institute For Music Theater Award , an American Music Center Award, and numerous awards from ASCAP, of which he is a member. DREAM TRUE won a Richard Rodgers Production Award. MY LIFE WITH ALBERTINE won the 2002 AT&T Award.
April 28th and 29th, 2002, There were two sold out concerts of Mr . Gordon's music at The Guggenheim Museum as part of the Works and Process series, with Audra McDonald, Theresa McCarthy, Lewis Cleale, and Darius DeHaas...Ted Sperling conducting...Stephen Holden wrote, "As the singers performed more than 20 of Mr. Gordon's songs, the majority arranged by the composer for a 10-member ensemble conducted by Ted Sperling, the music bubbled and cascaded like a mountain brook after a spring rain. Over and over, one had the image of a boy skipping ecstatically through fields and woods on a crisp April morning."
Mr. Gordon's love of poetry is evident from the clarity and ease of flow of settings that rarely allow a word to get lost. Whether giving musical voice to Hughes's urban angst or to Parker's cynicism, the composer instinctively looks for the silver lining. He turns despair into sadness and softens bitter into wry. Several of his settings of Hughes's poems are inflected with Jazz Age flavors that suggest the blues, but as played by a jazz band at a Champagne reception on an ocean liner. - "The New York Times," April 30, 2002
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