Forging a path between the French and American schools of saxophone performance and pedagogy, Gordon Gest’s eclectic recital programs and adventurous arrangements have charmed audiences around the world. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, the Arizona State University, and the Conservatoire National de Lyon, he is a musician of myriad interests and is committed to innovative and diverse programming, with a focus on works that bend the paradigms of classical and jazz music. Drawing from a broad palette of genres and periods, he has performed in premieres of works by composers Halim el-Dabh, Claudio Gabriele, and Henri Pousseur, commissioned works by Marc Mellits, Stephen Barr, David Biedenbender, John Leszczynski, and David MacDonald, and arranged the works of Mendelssohn, Debussy, Haydn, Sibelius, and Poulenc. Comfortable in any ensemble and virtually every style, has appeared with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Rockford Symphony Orchestra, and been featured as a soloist with the Round Top Festival Orchestra, Brevard Sinfonia, University of Texas Orchestra, and the Arizona State University Orchestra. As a chamber musician he holds the soprano saxophone chair of the Strata Saxophone Quartet, in residence at the Taneycomo Festival Orchestra in Branson, MO, and appeared at North American Saxophone Alliance National Conferences in Champaign, IL and Cincinnati, OH. As a solo artist he is the only saxophonist to have appeared at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, TX, taking the stage at the 2016 edition’s Contemporary Music series where he performed Joel Love’s Liberation for alto saxophone and was broadcast on KUTX, and subsequently was invited to perform the same work at the opening gala of the People’s Gallery at Austin City Hall by Mayor Steve Adler.
Gordon currently resides in Chicago, Illinois, where he teaches at the DePaul University Community Music School. In his free time, he enjoys weightlifting, bicycling, avoiding winter, and attending Chicago Cubs games.
Lakes Area Music Festival
715 Laurel Street
Brainerd MN 56401
Hours*: W, F 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. *call to confirm during off-season