Michael Gandolfi

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Michael Gandolfi
composer

Michael Gandolfi's earliest musical involvement was in rock and jazz improvisation beginning at age eight as a self-taught guitarist. As his improvisational skills developed he became increasingly interested in music composition and began formal study in his early teens.

He received the B.M. and M.M. degrees in composition from the New England Conservatory of Music, as well as fellowships for study at the Yale Summer School of Music and Art, the Composers Conference, and the Tanglewood Music Center.

Mr. Gandolfi is the recipient of numerous awards including grants from the Fromm Foundation, the Koussevitzky Music Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Many leading ensembles including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project have performed his music.
Mr. Gandolfi recently completed Impressions from "The Garden of Cosmic Speculation", which was premiered in August 2005 by Robert Spano and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra and was subsequently performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra under the direction of David Zinman. He also recently completed a new work for young audiences, the Piper's Tale, an adaptation of The Pied Piper, words by Dana Bonstrom, that was premiered by the Boston Musica Viva with Bob McGrath, narrator. In April 1999 the New Millennium Ensemble with David Margulies, narrator at New York's Merkin Concert Hall, premiered Mr. Gandolfi's Pinocchio's Adventures in Funland, written for young audiences. It was commissioned by the Elaine Kaufman Cultural Center on a text by Dana Bonstrom. It subsequently received over sixty performances, including those by the Boston Musica Viva, the Santa Barbara Symphony Chamber Players at the Ojai Festival, The Tanglewood Music Center, the Andover Chamber Music Society, and the Portland Chamber Music Festival. It received its European premiere in 2000 in Portugal by the Remix Ensemble. The Concord Symphony Orchestra funded a full orchestration of the score and premiered the piece in that form, under the direction of Richard Pittman, during their 2000/2001 season.

In the summer of 2001, Mr. Gandolfi wrote music for the Shakespeare and Company's production of a Midsummer Night's Dream, under the direction of Tina Packer. A concert adaptation of that score Themes from a Midsummer Night was premiered at Jordan Hall in the fall of 2001. Later that year, Mr. Gandolfi teamed-up again with Dana Bonstrom for a project commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Education Division. The resulting work Gwendolyn Gets Her Wish was premiered in April 2002, and will be performed in the Los Angeles public schools as the cornerstone of a five-year arts-in-education initiative.

Mr. Gandolfi recently completed Vientos y Tangos for wind ensemble, co-commissioned by a consortium of fifteen wind ensembles, in celebration of Frank Battisti's seventieth birthday, which is now published by Boosey and Hawkes as part of their Windependence Series.

Mr Gandolfi is completing commissions from the St. Botolph Club for a new work to be premiered in October 2005 by the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, the Michael Vyner Trust (a piano concerto), Collage New Music, Fromm Foundation (a saxophone concerto for Kenneth Radnovsky and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, 2006), and Boston-based pianist Duncan Cumming.

His music has been recorded on the Deutsche Grammophon and CRI labels. He is a faculty member of the New England Conservatory of Music and the Tanglewood Music Center. He was a visiting lecturer on music at Harvard University in 2002, and held a similar position there from 1996-1999. He is listed in the New Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians.

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Performances

Bolcom with BMOP
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | March 6, 2011
Boston ConNECtion
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | January 17, 2009
Boston ConNECtion: Celebrating BMOP's 10th season at NEC
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | January 25, 2008
Boston ConNECtion
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | January 20, 2007
Boston ConNECtion
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | January 17, 2004
Boston ConNECtion
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | January 18, 2003
Musically Speaking
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | June 17, 2000
NEC Composers Past, Present and Future
Jordan Hall at New England Conservatory | May 8, 1999

News and Press

[Concert Review] Boston Modern revels in conservatory connection
That rather gaudy sign in Jordan Hall reading "New England Conservatory" is intended to remind audiences of the institution where this acoustic jewel is located. Rarely is its presence so apt as during the Boston Modern Orchestra Project's annual "Boston ConNECtion" concert, recognizing the ongoing relationship between the ensemble and the school. The 11th such performance, on Saturday, was a typically substantial affair, dexterously played by the ensemble and conducted with authority by Gil Rose.
The Boston Globe Full review
[News Coverage] Independent Labels Embrace a D.I.Y. Ethos
The major classical recording labels, a few notable exceptions aside, seemed determined to continue their march toward irrelevance and oblivion this year. For independent outfits the prognosis was better: The budget-priced Naxos reigned supreme, while hardy concerns like Hyperion, Kairos, Testament and Bridge produced invaluable offerings. But some of the most robust activity in 2008 involved labels operated by those with the most to gain: musicians, orchestras, composers.
The New York Times Full coverage
[CD Review] Fanfare reviews Michael Gandolfi: Y2K Compliant
Michael Gandolfi (b. 1956) teaches at Tanglewood, so it is reasonable that his music should appear on the Boston Modern Orchestra Project's label. This band, under its music director and conductor Gil Rose, is dedicated to the performance and promotion of contemporary American music. The members have successfully recorded several CDs for other companies, but this program and a recording of John Harbison's ballet Ulysses are the inaugural releases on their home label. The fact has been a while in the offing. Well, it is here now, and the results are brilliant.
Fanfare Full review
[CD Review] American Record Guide reviews Michael Gandolfi: Y2K Compliant
Three orchestral works by Michael Gandolfi, composer of The Garden of Cosmic Speculation (M/J 2008). In his highly useful notes, Robert Kirzinger knights Gandolfi "master of innumerable compositional approaches", purveyor of a technical and stylistic smorgasbord that will at least partly please everybody. As with Cosmic Speculation, there is great skill on display, though what this display of variety adds up to is anybody's guess.
American Record Guide Full review
[CD Review] The New York Times reviews Michael Gandolfi: Y2K Compliant
MICHAEL GANDOLFI'S music has some of the rigor of the mid-20th-century atonalists, but it also draws on the richness of melody and timbre prized by the neo-Romantics. You would not put his work firmly in either category, and that's probably for the best, since much of its appeal is in the ease with which it moves between those poles. One moment you're taken with its braininess, its structural logic and textural intricacy; the next you're struck by the flow of fresh ideas, vivid orchestration and rhythmic vitality, all of which give it a visceral punch.
The New York Times Full review