Edward Gold (b. 25 July 1936, Brooklyn, New York, USA) began his formal music education at the Henry Street Settlement Music School (1950–53), where, as the recipient of a Spofford Scholarship, he studied piano with Elise Braun-Barnett. Later he earned a baccalaureate degree in music from New York City College (1953–57) and went on to receive a Master of Music degree from the Yale School of Music, where he completed his keyboard training with Ellsworth Grumman and studied composition with Mel Powell and H. Leroy Baumgartner (1957–60). Edward also benefitted from keyboard studies with Nadia Reisenberg at the Mannes College of Music.
In 1963 Edward undertook a piano recital tour of Mexico under the aegis of the U.S. Information Service, and more recently, in 1994, he performed a piano recital of the music of Louis Moreau Gottschalk on the Queen Elizabeth 2. He has recorded several albums for the Musical Heritage Society, including Gottschalk Piano Music (MHS 1629, 1973); Piano Music of J. L. Dussek (MHS 1966, 1974); Romantic Cello Encores, with Albert Catell (MHS 1219, 1971); and Music by Israeli Composers, with various artists (MHS 1653/1654, 1973). His own arrangement of the song "Y'rushalayim" was featured on the last-named album.
Among his most important original works are the Piano Variations (1959); the Mass of John the Baptist (for three-part men's voices and organ, 1972); Sonatina for Flute and Piano (c. 1985); Schratlieder (settings for bass-baritone and piano of poems by Reinhard Paul Becker, 1986); Carillon for Choir, Tuned Percussion, and Strings (c. 1996); Five Memorials (for various ensembles, 1996–97); a Wind Quartet (2004); Symphonies on Ancient Tunes; and The Picture of Dorian Gray (for piano, four hands, 2006). He has also contributed movements each year to the Delian Suite, an annual collaborative project produced by composers of the Delian Society. Edward is a computer-based composer widely respected for his sequenced recordings of original music as well as numerous symphonic works by Elgar, Brahms, Schumann, Liszt, and Delius.
Edward has described his music as "nothing if not eclectic." He explains:
I don't write in any specific historical styles but may use these styles as the basis for a musical composition. In the Mass of John the Baptist, Symphonies on Ancient Tunes, and elsewhere, I quote specific works of the past. In the Mass, the basis for the whole work is the ancient hymn "Ut queant laxis" (upon which Guido based his sol-fa system). The entire Benedictus is built on the "chorale" tune from the first scene of Wagner's Meistersinger ("Da zu dir der Heiland kam"), which is put into the organ pedal part, and there is even a passing reference to Elgar's Sea Pictures ("Love me, sweet friends, this Sabbath day") in the Gloria. The Symphonies, of course, are all based on specific medieval and renaissance melodies.
I try to make my music as clear as possible and, formally I suppose, I follow the German models, often with French sonorities. . . My harmonic language often shifts density within the course of a piece.
I try to avoid overstaying my welcome and overusing the computer "copy and paste" operations, a pitfall for many computer composers.
While allowing a place for atonality in contemporary music, Edward is emphatic in his commitment to the tonal renaissance:
After the final failure of the so-called "atonal revolution," we cannot afford to continue to write in the same dreary, limited, uncommunicative and, yes, old-fashioned style. For me, tonality has the flexibility, range, and comprehensibility necessary for a world in which these are important. Remnants of the atonal styles and twelve-tone system may remain within a tonal context, but I think it is futile to pursue them as pure styles in the future.