Michael Gordon

Michael Gordon. Photo by Peter Serling.

Michael Gordon’s compositions demonstrate a singular exploration of rhythm, juxtaposing and overlapping complex patterns to create what has been called “a glorious confusion.” His work also employs microtonality and electronic processing, and often draws inspiration from popular culture. Gordon’s interest in adding dimensionality to the concert experience has led to frequent collaborations with filmmaker Bill Morrison, including two critically-acclaimed interdisciplinary works: Decasia and Gotham. In Decasia, the audience stands in the middle of a three-tiered, triangular structure surrounded by 55 musicians and large projection scrims. Gotham combines large sonic textures with Morrison’s film made from vintage footage of New York City. Gordon’s work for musical theater has involved collaboration with directors Richard Foreman and Francois Girard for pieces premiered at the REDCAT Theater in Los Angeles, Oper Aachen, and Next Wave Festival at BAM. His music has been commissioned and/or performed by Los Angeles Philharmonic , Jonathon Nott and the Bamberger Symphony, Kronos Quartet, cellist Maya Beiser, Alarm Will Sound, Ensemble Resonanz, and Icebreaker, and has been featured by a wide spectrum of dance companies including the Royal Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet, Wayne McGregor/Random Dance Company, and Emio Greco/PC. Gordon is also a co-founder of Bang on a Can, an international organization dedicated to the support of experimental music since 1987.

Gordon joined fellow Bang on a Can founders David Lang and Julia Wolfe for a symposium at The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage in June 2009. The three composers spoke about their work as composers, impresarios, and entrepreneurs, and shared recorded examples of their music. Together, they also curated the first Philadelphia iteration of the Bang on a Can marathon, funded by the Center and presented by FringeArts in September 2010.


Meg Foley presents an exhibition of improvisational research and performance documenting up to 750 dances, which Foley performs on a daily basis at 3:15pm.

Grants & Grantees

A two-part concert program, with a live talk show hosted by Live from Lincoln Center’s Fred Child and an accompanying studio recording, will offer a renewed perspective on the artistic legacy of baroque composer Georg Philipp Telemann.

In 2017, the Center marks the 25th anniversary of the Pew Fellowships in the Arts with a commemorative website highlighting a quarter-century of support to artists.

Anna Drozdowski, a curator of performance, hosts European duo Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion for a two-week retrospective of their collaborative career. The two juxtapose the formality of music composition with a radical and open approach to performance, composition and audience.

Zydeco Crossroads: A Tale of Two Cities is an 87-minute documentary that highlights the current state of the Creole music scene in and around Lafayette, Louisiana.

Collaborators & Colleagues

Francesca Herndon-Consagra is the senior curator of prints and drawings and European paintings at the Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin.

Grants & Grantees

Afaa Michael Weaver is a poet and a 1998 Pew Fellow.

Historical musicologist David Gutkin explores various forms of musical notation and the variable re-performances they can encourage.

Grants & Grantees

Nicole Cousineau (Pew Fellow, 2007) makes multimedia dance theater based in strong, rigorous movement investigation.

Grants & Grantees

The world premiere of composer Ludwig’s song cycle for soprano, presented by the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, will channel the voice and inner life of an imagined medieval “anchoress,” bridging Renaissance and contemporary musical languages.

Grants & Grantees

Crossroads Music organizes public performances by accomplished musicians with roots in cultures from around the world.

Finding a “form to contain [the mess]” is one way that 2013 Pew Fellow Jenn McCreary describes her motivation for writing poetry. An avid note-taker, she tasks herself to find forms for disparate ideas.