Michael Zev Gordon wins British Composer Awards, Choral Category

Professor Michael Zev Gordon

Michael Zev Gordon, our incoming Chair in Composition, has just won the Choral Category in this year’s British Composer Awards. Run by BASCA, the British Academy of Songwriters and Composers, the award ceremony took place on 30th November at Stationers’ Hall in London.

Professor Gordon won the award for Allele, a work for 40 solo voices, written in 2010 to a text by the poet Ruth Padel, and premiered at the Diamond Synchrotron in Oxford by the New London Chamber Choir under their conductor James Weeks. The piece formed part of an innovative collaboration between music and science, entitled Music from the Genome, funded by the Welcome Trust.

The scientific side of the project, led by Dr Andrew Morley of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, involved a study of the genetics of musical aptitude.

Using the genetic data uncovered in the study, Professor Gordon created his work, mapping gene sequences onto musical material. At the climax of the work, the singers involved sing their own individual genetic variants or alleles.

Further information about the project as a whole can by found at the website:

The piece can also be heard there in full.