Born in 1933 in New York City, Dr. Morton Gold spent his childhood around music and watching live Yiddish theater. His father, Leon Gold (born Liebel Goldvug in Bessarabia and who later became a renowned cantor), had a long career with the Yiddish theater in Eastern Europe and in Ukraine. Dr. Gold spent every Saturday afternoon at the theater, watching his father perform newly composed tunes, with music written in the familiar motifs of Eastern Europe. The music was an Americanization of the familiar folk and synagogue tunes that the audience members knew from their homelands.
Dr. Gold moved with his family to Boston and earned degrees from Boston University and Harvard University. He became a composer, a conductor and an educator, and his compositions reflect elements of both worship and the theater.
Dr. Gold has filled his musical life as a prolific American composer of Jewish, secular and sacred music. Although Yiddish was his first language, Dr. Gold never used Yiddish when writing choral or vocal solo pieces. When he began composing in the mid 1950’s, Yiddish was looked down upon and thought of by many as “low brow.” Hebrew was developing, and was chosen as the official language in the new State of Israel.
In Maine, Dr. Gold served as a music professor at Nasson College in Springvale, Maine, from 1964 to its closure in 1983.
In all, he has composed seven full-length Oratorios and nearly a hundred other works consisting of sonatas and concerti for keyboard, winds and strings, trios, quartets, marches, and many sacred works for voice and accompaniment. In 2010, he was honored by the Cantors Assembly of the US and Canada with their Kavod award for creativity and achievement in the field of Jewish sacred music.