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Gordon Getty: WFIU’s Featured Composer for August

American composer Gordon Getty's vocal works are heavily inspired by nineteenth and early-twentieth poetic texts.

Man in plaid suit

Photo: Gordon Getty

Composer Gordon Getty

WFIU’s featured contemporary composer for the month of August is California native, Gordon Getty.

Honored as an Outstanding American Composer at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 1986, Gordon Getty maintains a prolific career as a composer in addition to his continuous support of the arts through the Gordon and Ann Getty Foundation.

Known primarily for his vocal works, Getty’s compositions are heavily inspired by nineteenth and early-twentieth poetic texts.  Two of his most frequently performed works are The White Election (1981), a song cycle on the poems of Emily Dickinson, and the opera Plump Jack, which was premiered by the San Francisco Symphony in 1984.  Other compositions include works for solo piano, chamber ensembles and orchestra.

Many of his works can be found on the PentaTone label and have been recorded by the Munich Radio Orchestra, Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Russian National Orchestra, and the San Francisco Symphony.  His most recent release is the opera Usher House (2013).  Derived from Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher,” the recording features vocalists Christian Elsner, Etienne Dupuis, Phillip Ens, Lisa Delan, and special guest Benedict Cumberbatch.

Getty studied music theory with Sol Joseph at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.  He was awarded the 2003 Gold Baton of the American Symphony Orchestra League, and has received honorary doctorates from Pepperdine University, the University of Maryland, Mannes College of Music, the University of California at San Francisco, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

WFIU will feature music of Gordon Getty in our classical music programming throughout the month of August.

Heidi Siberz

Heidi Siberz moved to Bloomington in 2010 and is currently pursuing a doctorate in saxophone performance from Indiana University. She has served as an associate instructor of saxophone for the Jacobs School of Music and as a music cataloger for the William & Gayle Cook Music Library. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening and exploring the Bloomington area with her husband.

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