Nick Gordon, longtime Music Mountain President, dies at 89

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By Thursday, Oct 19 Obituaries
Nicholas Gordon, with his dog Polo, at Music Mountain. Photo courtesy of Estelle Gordon.

Sharon, Conn. — Nicholas Gordon, Sharon resident and president of the Music Mountain Board of Directors, died on October 5 after a lengthy illness. He was 89.

Mr. Gordon joined the Music Mountain board in 1970 and became President in 1974, a position he held until his death. Concertgoers in recent years were greeted by Mr. Gordon who introduced every concert, accompanied by his Newfoundland dog Polo. He also hosted the radio broadcasts of the concerts heard weekly during the season on WQXR and NPR.

His love of chamber music and of Music Mountain started in his childhood. His father, the late Jacques Gordon, a noted violinist, founded the festival in 1929 and Mr. Gordon spent his early summers listening to his father’s quartet playing on the idyllic Music Mountain property in Falls Village. A longtime area resident, Mr. Gordon served as a local Justice of the Peace.

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.

Mr. Gordon had a long career in broadcasting, including 23 years at NBC where he rose to Vice President, Eastern Sales, of the NBC Television Network and later, Vice President, Sales, NBC Radio. In 1974 He became President of the Keystone Broadcasting System, the largest and oldest non-wired radio network in America. He held that post until 1985 when he was elevated to Chairman. He remained involved with Keystone until his death.

Prior to moving to Connecticut, Mr. Gordon lived in the Riverdale section of the Bronx in New York City, where he was active on community boards including the local Planning Board and the Wave Hill Center for Environmental Education. He also served on the board of St. Hilda’s and St. Hugh’s school.

Nicholas Gordon was born on April 12, 1928 in Chicago. His father was the violinist Jacques Gordon who, at the time, was the Concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony. His mother, the late Ruth (Janeway) was an attorney. A brother, Dr. Richard S. Gordon, predeceased him.

He earned a Ph.B. from The University of Chicago in 1946. He is survived by his wife, the former Estelle Magowan, who also sits on the Music Mountain board. Mr. Gordon was married twice previously. His first marriage to Gladys (Sack) from 1950-1976 ended in divorce. His second marriage to Julie E. Miles in 1977 ended with her death in 2005.

Mr. Gordon is also survived by three children; Catherine, of Edinburgh Scotland, Susan, of Princeton Junction, N.J., and Christopher, of New York City. In addition, he is survived by two grandchildren.

The family asks that donations be made in Mr. Gordon’s memory to Music Mountain.

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