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Michael Gordon, Principal Flute

Michael Gordon is the Principal Flutist of the Kansas City Symphony. Prior to joining the Kansas City Symphony he was a member of the New World Symphony, where he performed as a soloist in 2007. Michael has performed with several orchestras across the United States, including the Saint Louis Symphony and the Minnesota Orchestra. In 2004 he earned both his bachelors and masters degrees from Rice University. His teachers include Leone Buyse and Marianne Gedigian.

Ten questions about me:

How did you choose your instrument?

When I was very young, maybe 6 or 7 years old, I remember always playing with kazoos or really any type of toy wind instrument. I would sometimes take several kazoos, stick them together and pretend to play them like a clarinet (probably inspired by my mother who played a little clarinet). To this day I don't know why, but somehow this led my father to suggest I take flute lessons since I seemed to show an interest of some sort in wind instruments. I was eight years old at the time, and my teacher thought I would be better off starting on recorder first. I took about six months of recorder lessons before moving on to flute, and the rest as they say, is history.

What is your favorite thing about performing music?

For me, the best thing about performing music is the opportunity it gives you say something new about a piece of music every single time you play it. Sometimes you find yourself trying something new and totally unplanned right there in front of a thousand people. Neither you nor your audience can know quite how it will turn out until it's done. I think that's just the pinnacle of music making.

Who is your most inspiring composer?

Shostakovich has always been one of the most inspiring composers to me. He was always true to his own voice even in the face or mortal danger. I aspire to the same level of musical integrity, but hopefully without the mortal danger.

What's your "top pick" for downtown dining, or for a post-concert drink or dessert?

You know, others will say they enjoy hitting the P&L after a concert, JP's Wine Bar, Westside Local, and I have to say I enjoy all of these places. But where I really want to go is Caddyshack. It's a total dive bar in Columbus Park with cheap beer, delicious pizza, greasy chicken strips, and a slightly suspect clientele. If you don't know where it is, you probably don't want to, but I love it!

Where is your favorite place to hang out?

My deck at home is definitely my favorite place to hang out. I toss some piece of animal on my grill, sip a few beverages, listen to some music, take in the fresh air, and when I'm feeling sporting I have my friends over to enjoy the whole experience with me. There's definitely no place I'd rather be.

What is your Kansas City Barbecue "joint" of choice?

Oklahoma Joe's BBQ