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Samuel Gordon (Choral Conductor)

Born: USA

The American choral conductor, Samuel Gordon, obtained his B.S. in Music degree from the Pennsylvania State University, his Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the Indiana University, and his Doctor of Music in Voice also from the Indiana University.

Director of Choral Studies and Professor of Music at The University of Akron, Dr. Samuel Gordon has been actively engaged in both singing and conducting careers in this country and abroad. He was the tenor in the National Gallery of Art Vocal Arts Quartet from 1985 to 2003, also enjoying a choral conducting residency there from 1988 to 1996. He has performed concerts of vocal chamber music with the Vocal Arts Quartet at the Louvre in Paris and at the Belvedere Museum in Vienna.

Samuel Gordon is the recipient of the Studio Lauda Award at the International Early Music Festival in Zadar, Yugoslavia and is the first prize winner (in several categories) at the prestigious Concorso Polifonico “Guido d’Arezzo (Italy); the International Musical Eisteddfod (Wales); as well as the Welsh National Eisteddfod. He was the first American to win the Welsh competition and his ensembles sang in Welsh at the festival. Laureate of the Fiat Conducting Prize, he was also given the Trimillenial Medal by the city of Cadiz, Spain and the Bronze Horreo in Orviedo, Spain.

Performances at international festivals have included: The Salzburg Festival; The Rheingau Musik Festival; The Bregenz International Festival; The Llubljana Festival; Mozaik (Yugoslavia); The Flanders Festival; The Holland Festival; the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds (Italy); the Ambler Festival; and The Haydn Festival of a Lifetime at the Kennedy Center. He has performed for the BBC, Eurovision, and National Radio and Television of Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Yugoslavia, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark and Sweden. As guest conductor, he has led the Taipei Philharmonic, The Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra, The National Gallery of Art Orchestra, the Perugia Chamber Orchestra, the Canton Symphony, and has been featured soloist with the orchestras of Baltimore, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City, Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the National Gallery of Art, El Paso, and the National Symphony Orchestra. During the 2004-2005 season he was guest conductor of the internationally acclaimed National Gallery of Art Orchestra where he conducted Benjamin Britten’s rarely performed Nocturnes along with his Simple Symphony. He returns next season to the NGA next season to conduct that orchestra and The University of Akron Choir.

Samuel Gordon has been guest clinician for The American Guild of Organists, Music Educator’s National Conference, and has led workshops and festival choirs in thirty-five states, Europe, Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, St. Thomas (Virgin Islands), the Bahamas, Morocco, Taiwan, and the Caribbean. In July of 2006, Dr. Gordon and The University of Akron Choir were finalists in the Seghizzi International Choral Competition in Gorizia, Italy. They returned with a first prize. Also in 2006, he conducted the Mozart Coronation Mass with over 300 singers from 13 countries along with the Salzburg Dom Orchestra at the Salzburg Cathedral as part of the International Mozart Birthday Celebration in that city. During that visit The University of Akron Choir performed at the famed Mozarteum in Salzburg.

Samuel Gordon has been a member of the international jury for the Anglo-International Festival (Coventry, England), Concerts at Sea, and the Festival of the Americas (Nassau, Bahamas) and joined the choral juries in Taiwan and Hongkong in 2007. He is the Artistic Director of The Singer’s Company, a professional chamber choir, and VOCI, a community choir based in Canton, Ohio. In 2006 The Santa Fe Women’s Ensemble, Santa Fe, NM, premiered his Motets for the Ladymass and in 2007 he was composer-in-residence for that ensemble. In 2001 he founded Corofest Italian, an international choral festival based in Assisi, Italy. The festival marked its third edition in 2007. Gordon has also served as a member of the faculty of The Assisi Music Festival. He has recorded for Koch International Classics and Telarc International and has his own choral music series with The National Music Publishers where he has published over 20 choral compositions. His works have been premiered at the National Gallery of Art and the Kennedy Center, both in Washington, D.C. The Washington Post cited his Noel as “the highlight of the program” when the Washington Choral Society sang it at the Kennedy Center.

Source: University of Akron Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (October 2010)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Ronn Cummings

Choral Conductor

BWV 61 [w/ University of Akron Concert Choir]

Links to other Sites

University of Akron: Department of Choral Studies Faculty


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