Composer Anthony Gilbert Dies at 88

By Chris Ruel
Credit: Schott

Anthony Gilbert, a British composer and academic, passed away on July 5, 2023, at age 88. He was known for his affiliation with the Royal Northern College of Music and as the head of composition at the New South Wales State Conservatorium. Gilbert’s compositions, published by Schott and University of York Music Press, were primarily written for larger chamber ensembles and performed by specific musicians. In 2021, he published a memoir called “Kettle of Fish.”

Gilbert’s musical journey began with studies in composition and piano at Trinity College of Music, Morley College, and Tanglewood. He initially worked at Schott in London before joining the Royal Northern College of Music, where he eventually became the head of the School of Composition and contemporary music. He also served as the head of the composition department at the New South Wales State Conservatorium. Notable composers such as Sally Beamish, Simon Holt, and Martin Butler were among his students.

Gilbert believed in composing from a place of personal authenticity rather than trying to appeal to popular tastes. His compositions included pieces for orchestras, operas, and smaller ensembles. His music blended experimental elements with beautiful melodies.