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Cellist’s journey from Juilliard to Westborough

By Jane Keller Gordon, Contributing Writer

Josh Gordon Photo/submitted

Josh Gordon
Photo/submitted

Westborough – Hard work, circumstances and opportunity brought Juilliard-trained cellist Josh Gordon, 49, to Massachusetts, and eventually to Westborough.

Gordon leads a very busy life. Along with spending time with family and friends, he is a professor at Brandeis University, a member of the Lydian String Quartet, an artist member of the Worcester Chamber Music Society, a faculty and ensemble member for the Wellesley Composers Conference, and more.

He spent his childhood in New Jersey, growing up in a musical family. His mother Anita is a pianist, and his father Louis is a pianist and composer. Gordon started playing cello when he was 8, after taking piano lessons.

In 1976, he reached a turning point when he went to music camp in Central Massachusetts.

“I met kids my age who were into string instruments and were cool,” he said.

He went back for two more summers.

Gordon was accepted into the Juilliard School’s Pre-College Division just before his freshman year of high school.

“At the first (Saturday morning) rehearsal, I was astounded at the high level of performance,” he recalled.

At that point, Gordon said that he was practicing cello three hours a day. By his senior year, he lightened his academic course load, and practiced four to five hours a day in anticipation of applying to a conservatory.

Gordon was accepted by his first choice – Juilliard. He earned his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees, studying under legendary cellist Harvey Shapiro, as well as many other renowned musicians and teachers.

After Juilliard, Gordon said, “I became a member of the freeway philharmonic – people who travelled for freelance jobs.”

He had an exciting life living in New York, and playing all over the world, including the Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall.

Things changed for Gordon on Sept. 11, 2001. He said that he saw and heard the first plane fly low down the west side of New York City. Shortly afterward, he was invited to audition for the Massachusetts-based Lydian String Quartet.

The time was right for a move, and he had always admired the quartet, and their music. Gordon was selected, and moved to the Boston area in 2002.

Along with his wife and daughter, in 2011, Gordon moved to house in historic downtown Westborough. Gordon said he was “blown away” when he attended a Westborough High School orchestra and chorus performance of the massive symphony, “Frostiana” by Randall Thompson.

Gordon said that he wants to be involved in the local music scene. He likes that the Worcester Chamber Group is connected to the area, and hopes that someday they will play in Westborough. They have performed at a church in Grafton.

At Westborough’s Congregation B’nai Shalom during an annual Yom Kippur service, Gordon played the cello part of “Kol Nidrei,” Max Bruch’s stunning piece written in 1880.

When asked whether Gordon misses living in N.Y.C., he said, “There are a lot of Juilliard grads nearby. Being here I’ve been able to maintain stronger friendships.”

Gordon also said that he and his family like the proximity of Westborough to Boston, Worcester, Providence, New Hampshire, Maine and Cape Cod. And, they like the local restaurants.

As a teacher, recording artist, judge of competitions, and solo and group performer, Gordon has a strong desire to share the beauty of music. He said that he hopes that area residents will attend performances by the Lydian String Quartet (lydianquartet.com), the Worcester Chamber Group (worcesterchambermusic.org), and his many other performances. A listing of events can be found at lydianquartet.com, worcesterchambermusic.org and joshuagordoncello.com.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=70100

Posted by on Jan 4 2016. Filed under Byline Stories, People and Places, Westborough. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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