About Gordon Getty

Discover the work and life of the great American composer


Gordon Getty, Composer

The music of the American composer Gordon Getty has been performed in such prestigious venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, London’s Royal Festival Hall, Vienna’s Brahmssaal, and Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall and Bolshoi Theatre, as well as at the Aspen, Spoleto, and Bad Kissingen Festivals.

Getty’s first opera, Plump Jack, drawing on the adventures of Shakespeare’s Sir John Falstaff, was premiered by the San Francisco Symphony and has been revived by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, and London Philharmonia, among other ensembles. In 2011, the Munich Radio Orchestra performed Plump Jack in an abridged concert version, which was simulcast on Bavarian Radio and released on the Pentatone label. In June of 2018, Los Angeles Opera will present “Scare Pair,” the double bill of his two one-act operas, Usher House and The Canterville Ghost, following the October 2017 premiere with the Center for Contemporary Opera in New York.

Joan and the Bells, a cantata portraying the trial and execution of Joan of Arc, has been widely performed, notably at Windsor Castle with Mikhail Pletnev conducting. Getty’s ballet Ancestor Suite was given its premiere staging by the Bolshoi Ballet and Russian National Orchestra at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, and is slated for performances in China in 2018.

Getty has enjoyed a fruitful relationship with the Pentatone label. In addition to his three operas and Joan and the Bells, Pentatone has released an album devoted to six of his orchestral pieces, with Sir Neville Marriner conducting the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields; two albums of his choral works, Young America and The Little Match Girl; an album of his solo piano works played by Conrad Tao; and The White Election, a much-performed song cycle on poems by Emily Dickinson. 

Getty was the subject of the 2016 documentary film There Will Be Music, by director Peter Rosen. PBS broadcast the film around the country in 2017.

His music is published by Rork Music.   

December 2017