Michael Gandolfi has a broad range of musical interests encompassing not only contemporary concert music but jazz, blues and rock, through which he first became a musician. The span of his musical investigation is paralleled by his cultural curiosity, resulting in many points of contact between the world of music and other disciplines, including science, film, and theater.
Gandolfi has had long-standing relationships with the Atlanta, Boston, and Memphis Symphony Orchestras, The Boston Modern Orchestra Project, and the Boston Musica Viva. Among his recent premieres are: The Cosmic Garden in Bloom, commissioned by the Grant Park Orchestra; Ballet Ruse, commissioned by the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra; Sinfonia Brevis commissioned by Mei-Ann Chen for the Memphis Symphony Orchestra; Ascending Light for organ and orchestra commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, for Olivier Latry, organ soloist; Imaginary Numbers, a concerto for four soloists and orchestra, commissioned for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra; and Carroll in Numberland commissioned by the Tanglewood Music Center in celebration of their 75th anniversary, a work for Dawn Upshaw, three ‘back-up’ singers, and chamber ensemble.
Gandolfi’s discography includes The Garden of Cosmic Speculation, (Telarc, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Robert Spano, conductor) inspired by Charles Jencks’ spectacular private garden in Dumfries, Scotland. It earned a 2009 Grammy nomination for ’Best Classical Contemporary Composition.’ His BMOP Sound recording ‘Y2k Compliant’ was cited by the New York Times as a ‘Best CD of 2008,’ and his ‘From the Institutes of Groove’ (BMOP Sound) received the Boston Globe’s ‘Best Album of 2013’ distinction. Other works are recorded on the Deutsche Grammophon, Telarc, ASO Media, BSO Classics, Reference Recordings, Foghorn Classics, CRI, Innova, Klavier and BMOP Sound labels.
Gandolfi chairs the composition department at the New England Conservatory of Music, is Composition Head at the Tanglewood Music Center, and has been a faculty member at Harvard University, Indiana University, and Boston University. In residence at Cabrillo this season, he will serve as composition faculty for the Conductors/Composers Workshop. Gandolfi was commissioned by the Festival to reorchestrate his work, Points of Departure, to open the 2017 season, Friday, August 4; and his work, Pinocchio’s Adventures in Funland will receive its West Coast premiere at the Free Family Concert, Sunday, August 6.