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Remembering Anthony Gilbert (1934-2023)

Anthony Gilbert (1934-2023)

Schott Music is very sad to learn that British Composer Anthony Gilbert passed away on 5 July 2023.  Gilbert’s career as a published composer began on 7 September 1962 when he assigned the copyright for his Piano Sonata to Schott and this was followed soon after with the publication of his Missa Brevis and Sinfonia for chamber orchestra.  This formal relationship with Schott lasted until 1994 before Gilbert started a new relationship with University of York Music Press, his most well-known works include Nine or Ten Osannas, Crow-Cry, Moonfaring, Six of the Bestiary and Certain Lights Reflecting.

Gilbert began studying music in the 1950s with Anthony Milner at Morley College and later privately with Mátyás Seiber and Alexander Goehr.  His composing career spanned his whole life but alongside writing music he earnt a living as a translator, publisher and teacher including a time Schott London in the early 1960s, initially in the warehouse but by 1965 as Contemporary Music Editor.  From the 1970s he became more involved in academia and later established himself as an influential teacher going on to become head of composition at the Royal Northern College of Music.

He will be remembered as a kind and generous man with a remarkable work ethic who had a subtle but important influence on a large number of composers in the generation that followed him.  His musical voice found a natural and instinctive balance between curious, playful and imaginative experimentalism and a luminous harmonic soundworld.

Gilbert published his memoires Kettle of Fish in 2021.

Anthony Gilbert - Schott profile