American composer Gordon Getty celebrates his 85th birthday on December 20, 2018. Mr. Getty’s music has been performed widely in North America and Europe at venues as prestigious as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, the Royal Festival Hall in London, the Brahmssaal in Vienna and the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow. and the Bolshoi Theater, as well as the Aspen, Spoleto and Bad Kissingen festivals.
Of his compositions, Getty said, “My style is definitely tonal, albeit with notes of atonality, as any composer would probably use it to suggest some degree of disorientation. But I am strictly tonal in my approach. I represent a point of view that differs somewhat from the twentieth century, which was to a large extent a repudiation of the nineteenth and a sock in the face of sentimentality. Whatever the great Victorian composers and poets were trying to achieve, that’s what I’m trying to achieve. “
Mr. Getty’s discography includes Young America, choral works performed by the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and the Choir conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas; Joan and the Bells, a cantata describing the trial and execution of Joan of Arc; two recordings of The White Election, a cycle of songs based on poems by Emily Dickinson; his orchestral works with Sir Neville Marriner directing the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields; Piano pieces recorded by the talented pianist Conrad Tao; and his operas Plump Jack, Usher House and The Canterville Ghost. Her latest recording (released in August 2018), Beauty Come Dancing, features poems by John Keats, Lord Byron, John Masefield, Sara Teasdale, Edwin Arlington Robinson and Ernest Christopher Dowson, as well as poems by Mr. Getty himself. same. The recording features James Gaffigan leading the Dutch Radio Choir and the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.
Recent performances of Mr. Getty’s works include his “Scare Pair” (Usher House and The Canterville Ghost) presented by the Los Angeles Opera in June 2018 and presented in New York by the Center for Contemporary Opera in October 2017. One performance of his cantata, Joan and the Bells, was presented by the Berkeley Symphony in February 2018. Mr. Getty was the subject of the 2016 documentary film, There Will Be Music, by director Peter Rosen. PBS aired the film nationwide in 2017.