The Crossing to Give World Premiere of Michael Gordon’s ‘Anonymous Man’

By David Salazar

Michael Gordon’s choral work “Anonymous Man” will be getting its world premiere on July 1, 2017, in Philadelphia in a performance featuring the Donald Nally-led choir, The Crossing.

The concert-length work for solo chorus was written for the 24-voice organization and was inspired by Gordon’s real-life experiences in an ever-changing Lower Manhattan, meeting his future wife, raising a family. But one of the most profound experiences to influence the piece was his encounters with two homeless men who lived across the street.

“When I moved into my loft on Desbrosses, the streets were empty, since few people lived there. But both then and now, there were the homeless,” Gordon stated in a press release. “Over time the neighborhood changed from an industrial warehouse district to a residential area. ‘Anonymous Man’ is a memoir about my block.”

“This work began with a discussion about diaspora—the disengaged, relocated, lost,” added Nally. “But in Michael’s thoughtful hands, it has grown into a beautiful contemplation of what a community is and does; how it makes, holds, and loses its own history. It’s very personal; it has an intimacy that invites us to contemplate connections—those that are purposeful and those that happen by coincidence of time and place.”

Over the last 30 years, Gordon has been commissioned by Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the BBC Proms, the Seattle Symphony, the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Britt Festival and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Arts Festival, among others major organizations.

The Crossing is a professional chamber choir led by Nally that is dedicated to new music.