Ricky Ian Gordon was born on May 15, 1956 in Oceanside, NY and raised on Long Island. After studying piano, composition and acting, at Carnegie Mellon University, he settled in New York City, where he quickly emerged as a leading writer of vocal music that spans art song, opera, and musical theater. His songs have been performed and or recorded by such internationally renowned singers as Renee Fleming, Dawn Upshaw, Nathan Gunn, Judy Collins, Kelli O'Hara, Audra MacDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Nicole Cabell, the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Frederica Von Stade, Andrea Marcovicci, Harolyn Blackwell, and Betty Buckley, among many others.

His accomplishments in musical theater are also very notable, with shows such as My Life with Albertine (recorded on PS Classics), Dream True (recorded on PS Classics), The Tibetan Book of the Dead, Only Heaven (recorded on PS Classics), and Morning Star having been successfully performed. His opera, The Grapes Of Wrath, written with librettist Michael Korie, made its premiere at Minnesota Opera and has been performed many times since, including a concert version at New York’s Carnegie Hall, narrated by Jane Fonda. It was cited in Musical America as “The Great American Opera.” In Opera News Magazine it was called one of the Operatic Masterpieces of the 21st Century, as was his Orpheus and Euridice which premiered at Lincoln Center and received an OBIE Award.