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Biography

The music of Michael Gatonska has been performed by the the Minnesota Orchestra, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony, the Hartford Symphony, the Krakow Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Ossia Symphony Orchestra, SONYC, the Chicago Chamber Musicians, the Talea Ensemble, the LOCRIAN chamber players, string quartet DAFO (Poland) and the HSO Violoncello Quartet among others. He music has been performed at festivals around the world including at the Krakow International Composers Festival, the Mosaico Music Festival (Poland), the Teagu Festival of Contemporary Music (South Korea), the Festival Internacional de Musica Contemporanea (Bogota, Colombia), the Tribeca New Music Festival, the MATA Festival, the CSN New Music Festival, the Kosciuszko Foundation Chamber Music Series, the New Britain Museum of American Art, and he has twice participated in the Minnesota Orchestra Reading Sessions & Composer Institute. He has received numerous awards for his compositions, including fellowship and grant awards from the Civitella Ranieri Center, the Kosciuszko Foundation, three ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, the American Music Center, Meet the Composer, the American Composers Forum, the Roberts Foundation, the Underwood/ACO Commission, a MATA Festival Commission, the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, the Field, and he is a MacDowell Colony Fellow.  In 2009 he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Field of Arts by the Connecticut Education Foundation. Conductors Osmo Vanska, Marin Alsop, Carl St. Clair, Brad Lubman, Paul Lustig Dunkel and other new music champions have conducted his works, and he has composed solo and chamber music for the pianists Kathleen Supove, the E-cellist Jeffrey Krieger, the Ossia Chamber Players, Duo Anti-Depressant, and for the flautist Paul Lustig Dunkel. His music has been recorded on the  Albany Records, Major Who Media, and Einstein Records labels.

Hestudied composition with Krzystof Penderecki, Marek Stachowski, and Zbigniew Bujarski at the Academy of Music in Krakow, Poland, and with Elias Tanenbaum at the Manhattan School of Music. While in Poland, his music was performed in multiple years in the Krakow Young Composers Festival, the Eight Days Krakow Composers Festival and the Mosaico Music Festival. He has also been a professor on the Faculty of Music at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia.

 [But] Gatonska’a orchestral writing is so evocative and surprising that it’s impossible to resist.

   -Joshua Kosman, Music Critic, San Francisco

 

“Gatonska’s ‘The Whispering Wind’ may have been the best.  It builds from a rustle to a fumbling menagerie, with clumped and jagged harmonies, blaring circus brass and thrusting plastic rhythms out of free jazz.”       - Richard Scheinin, Music Critic, San Jose Mercury News

 

Michael Gatonska's ‘Transformation of the Hummingbird’ is the closest of the four works to the textural experiments of today's avant-garde, but none of its gestures sound gratuitous, and its imaginative textures consistently captivate.      -Classics Today.com --David Hurwitz

‘Sugar Maple Cosmica’ for Flute and un-pitched percussion: There were exceptional moments, especially a stunning passage in which the alto flute, played extremely lightly and with great agility, perfectly matched the percussion.  Suddenly time stood still.  If Mr. Gatonska achieved that even for a minute in this full-scale work it means that his gift commands respect and attention.                     –2010 New Music Connoisseur

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