Music Mountain's Bright Light and Music Titan
Nick Gordon at Music Mountain
When Nick Gordon died on Oct 5, 2017, Music Mountain lost its most dedicated, passionate and hardworking friend. For 45 years Nick served Music Mountain as its President, Executive director, Artistic director, and principal fundraiser. Nick made it possible for Music Mountain to become the country's longest running chamber music venue, never straying from its original mission, 'the performance and teaching of the string quartet.'
Nick always believed the reason that Music Mountain had thrived for so long was that it was consistently faithful to its founder's original goal.
Passionate about chamber music, Nick had a vast knowledge of composers and their works. But he was equally as committed to introducing youngsters to music and encouraging them to play. He would generously open Gordon Hall for children’s concerts when asked.
He always spoke lovingly of the 355-seat Gordon Hall. During one interview he labeled it “an acoustical marvel.” It has a simple knotty pine, long and narrow interior. He would point out that when looking up, the viewer could imagine seeing the same shape as the belly of a violin. In the interview he said, “It’s an extraordinary place to hear a concert. It is both spiritual and beautiful. It is totally relaxing. The sound can’t be better … You sit in the hall and you look out on the lawn and the trees and it’s just totally peaceful. All we want you to do is to be happy.”
The Gordon String Quartet
Nick joined the Music Mountain board in 1970 and became president in 1974, a position that he held until his death. In recent years he often greeted concert accompanied by his beloved Newfoundland dog, Polo. He also hosted the radio broadcasts of the concerts, heard weekly during the season and throughout the year. Music Mountain concerts reach an audience of over 1 million listeners in all parts of the United States and in many foreign countries. Nick's dedication and commitment has made this possible.
His love of chamber music and of Music Mountain started in his childhood. His father, Jacques Gordon, founded the festival in 1930, and Nick spent his early summers listening to his father’s quartet playing on the idyllic Music Mountain property in Falls Village. The music was part of him. He had attended concerts from the age of two. He was grounded in high level musicianship and the tradition of the classics: Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven and many others with whose music he had grown up. In recent years Music Mountain also presented the classics of the twentieth century.
In addition to Music Mountain, Mr. Gordon was tireless in promoting classical music and the performing arts. He served on the board of the Philadelphia Orchestra Media Institute from 1998-2003. For his work in promoting the performance of French Chamber players in America, the French government awarded him the decoration of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Nick Gordon at the Annual Region One Third Grade Concert