Described by Gramophone magazine as working in the “more radical domain” of British music, David Gorton’s compositions are often characterized by microtonal tuning systems and performer virtuosity. Yet alongside apparently complex works his output includes compositions for amateur choirs and pieces in the ABRSM Spectrum series.
He first came to public attention in 2001 when he was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize. Commissions followed for ensembles that include the London Sinfonietta, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Exposé, Jane's Minstrels, Chroma, Hermes, and the Kreutzer Quartet. His compositions have been performed throughout Europe and America, in China, and in Vietnam. Much of his output comprises series of works for solo performers with whom he has built a collaborative relationship over a period of years, including the violinist Peter Sheppard Skærved, cellist Neil Heyde, oboist Christopher Redgate, pianists Zubin Kanga and Roderick Chadwick, and the guitarist Stefan Östersjö. He has released three portrait albums on the Métier and Toccata Classics labels, the most recent of which is framed as a set of variations on music by John Dowland and was featured on BBC Radio 3's Record Review programme.
David Gorton was a student at Durham University, King’s College London, and the Royal Academy of Music, studying composition with Harrison Birtwistle and Simon Bainbridge. From 2004-06 he held a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship for a compositionally driven project about musical time, structure, and performance. He has been an associate researcher at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent, and a composer-in-residence at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. He has taught at the Royal Academy of Music since 2006, where he is an Associate Professor of the University of London.