Praised by critics for 'masterful orchestration' imaginative textures and 'exceptional stunning moments' Gatonska is described as having 'a compositional gift that commands respect and attention'.
The music of Michael Gatonska has been performed by the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra, the Hartford Symphony, the Pacific Symphony, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Ossia Symphony Orchestra, the Krakow Radio Orchestra, the Talea Ensemble, LOCRIAN Chamber Players, the Generous Ensemble, string quartet DAFO (Poland), the New Frontiers Quartet among others. His music has been performed at the 2014 Hartford New Music Festival, the Krakow International Composers Festival, the Mosaico Music Festival (Poland), the Teagu Festival of Contemporary Music (South Korea), the Festival Internacional de Musica Contemporanea (Bogota, Colombia), the MATA Festival, the CSN New Music Festival,the Kosciuszko Foundation Chamber Music Series and the New Britain Museum of American Art. The recipient of many awards for his compositions including the 2012 American Prize, Gatonska has enjoyed fellowship and grant awards from the 2013 Akrai Fellowship, the Civitella Ranieri Center, two Post-Graduate Research Fellowships from the Kosciuszko Foundation to study music composition in Poland, ASCAP Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, the American Music Center, Meet the Composer, the American Composers Forum, the Roberts Foundation, the Paul Underwood/ ACO Commission, the MATA Festival 2003 Commission, the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, the Field and he is a MacDowell Colony Fellow. In 2009 he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award in the Field of Arts by the Connecticut Valley Education Foundation.Conductors Marin Alsop, Osmo Vanska, Carl St. Clair, Brad Lubman, Paul Lustig Dunkel and other new music champions have performed his works and he has composed solo and chamber music for many performers and ensembles, including the pianist/performer Kathleen Supove, the E-cellist Jeffrey Krieger and for the flutist Paul Lustig Dunkel and percussionist Joe Passaro. His music has been recorded on the Albany Records and Einstein Records labels. A new release will appear on the MajorWho label early in 2010. Gatonska studied music composition in Poland for five years with Krzystof Penderecki, Marek Stachowski, and Zbigniew Bujarski at the Academy of Music in Krakow, Poland, and with Elias Tanenbaum at the Manhattan School of Music. While in Poland, his music was performed multiple years in the Krakow Young Composers Festival, the Eight Days Krakow Composers Festival and the Mosaico Music Festival.