Brendan Gordon, composer





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I was born in 1981 and grew up in Moscow, Idaho, where I am still living for the moment; I was exposed to music virtually from the start. Both my parents are musical, and are ardent classical music fans. My father loves the Baroque era especially (his favorite composers are Bach and Vivaldi), and used to play the Scottish bagpipes. My mother's tastes are more eclectic, although her favorite composer appears to be Chopin; it was she who first taught me to play piano at the age of five. One of my favorite things to do was to listen to piano music and read the score along with it, and I thereby taught myself musical notation this way. My favorite composer growing up was Mozart, and he is still to an extent, although I do think his piano parts are rather weak now! Also, my favorite genre was the piano concerto; many Classical aficionados like symphonies, but being a pianist, I haven't taken to those as much. I like to think of a piano concerto as a symphony with a prominent piano part.

However, while I learned to play piano, violin, and viola, I did not try to compose my own works, primarily because I thought it would be too hard. But for kicks, over the winter of 1998-99, I decided to write a Classical piano concerto of my own. I actually surprised myself by finishing all three movements (I was expecting to abandon it at some point), and along the way I was introduced to the Sibelius score-writing software, which I have stuck with faithfully ever since. Works dribbled out while I completed my undergraduate at the University of Idaho in 2004, with an B.S. in Chemistry and Applied Music.

The next three years were spent in Minnesota while I attempted to get a Ph.D. in chemistry. That did not work out, and I returned to Idaho with an M.S. instead, pondering what to do next. Since my practice technique had improved from my undergraduate years, I decided in 2008 to go for an M.M. in Music at Idaho, in both Composition and Piano Performance, and finished two years later, in 2010.

Currently, having finished school for the moment, I am pursuing a couple of paths to achieve independence. But regardless of what career I ultimately choose, music will always be a part of my life.