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Saxophonist Gordon Gest has established himself as an acclaimed performer throughout North America and Europe, premiering new works for solo saxophone, saxophone trio and quartet, and reed quintet. A student of both the American and French schools of saxophone, he synthesizes aspects of each into a style that is uniquely his own.
An exceptional interpreter of both contemporary and historical music, Gordon has performed in premieres of works by composers Halim el-Dabh, Claudio Gabriele, Henri Pousseur, Andrew Boss, Russell Podgorsek, and Vahid Jahandari, and commissioned works by Marc Mellits, David Biedenbender, Alexis Bacon, Stephen Barr, John Leszczynski, and David McDonald. He is the first classically-trained saxophonist to have appeared as a soloist at the SXSW Music Festival, performing Joel Love's Liberation for solo alto saxophone at the 2016 edition. In 2013 he was selected as a Fellow with the ITCH Contemporary Music Ensemble at the Brevard Music Center, where he gave premieres of nine new works in eight weeks, and was featured with the Arizona Contemporary Music Ensemble, performing John Anthony Lennon’s Distances Within Me.
Equally in demand as an orchestral and chamber musician, he has been featured with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Round Top Festival Orchestra, as well as appeared with the Rockford, Northbrook, and Madison Orchestras. In 2017 he performed at the CBDNA Conference in Kansas City, Missouri and recorded several new works and arrangements as principal saxophonist with the renowned University of Texas Wind Ensemble, and has performed with the Butler Opera Center and as a soloist with the University of Texas University Orchestra, the Arizona State University Orchestra, and the Brevard Sinfonia, performing works by Jake Heggie, Georges Bizet, Darius Milhaud, and John Williams. He has presented at several North American Saxophone Alliance conferences, including the premiere of his arrangement of Mendelssohn's Trio in D Minor at the University of Illinois in 2014 and works by Zack Browning and Jennifer Higdon at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2018. He is the soprano saxophone chair of the Strata Saxophone Quartet, in residence at the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra.
Reflecting the increasingly international community of classical saxophone, Gordon has studied with masters from every corner of the world. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where he was awarded a scholarship and assistantship, the Arizona State University, and laureate of the studio at the Conservatoire National de Lyon in France, studying with international soloists and renowned pedagogues Dr. Stephen Page, Dr. Christopher Creviston, Dr. Timothy McAllister, and Jean-Denis Michat. He has also studied with Claude Delangle, Vincent David, Arno Bornkamp, Masataka Hirano, Christian Wirth, Joseph Lulloff, Kenneth Radnofsky, and Jeremy Ruthrauff, and performed in masterclasses for Damien Royonnais, the Aurelia, Habanera, and Capitol Saxophone Quartets, and Akropolis Reed Quintet. He has competed in the MTNA and NASA music competitions, garnering awards and recognitions at the state and regional levels.
Gordon is available for performances, masterclasses, and lessons for all levels of student.
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Some selected accolades.
Semifinalist, NASA Biennial Conference Quartet Competition, 2016
Fellow, ITCH Contemporary Music Ensemble at Brevard Music Center, 2013
2nd Place, Music Teachers National Association Regional Competition, 2013
1st Place, Arizona Music Teachers Association Competition, 2012