Bob Gilmore (1961-2015)

Photo Paolo Giudici

Photo Paolo Giudici

We were very saddened to learn of musicologist, educator and keyboard player’s Bob Gilmore’s passing on 2 January in Amsterdam, following an illness.

Known to many Irish composers and musicians, Bob Gilmore was a great champion of new music and a passionate advocate for Irish composers’ music.

Born in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, he studied at York University, Queen’s University Belfast, and at the University of California. He wrote extensively on the American experimental tradition, microtonal music and spectral music, and his books include Harry Partch: a biography (Yale University Press, 1998) and Ben Johnston: Maximum Clarity and other writings on music (University of Illinois Press, 2006). In 2014 his biography on French-Canadian composer Claude Vivier was published by University of Rochester Press. He was also editor of the quarterly new music journal, Tempo, during 2014.

Bob became acquainted with CMC almost a decade ago, doing a series of interviews with composers for our web site at the time, as well as writing an insightful introduction for our promotional CD, Contemporary Music from Ireland Vol. 7.

Recently his microtonal music group Trio Scordatura performed at CMC’s Salon, performing music by Linda Buckley and Scott McLaughlin, two of the many Irish composers whom Bob worked with.

He was a great supporter and friend to many Irish composers and was much loved by many within the new music community. The outpouring of disbelief and sadness following his death last Friday shows the high regard and esteem he was held in, with poignant tributes written by Donnacha Dennehy, Garrett Sholdice and Benedict Schlepper-Connolly and many others.

We extend our heartfelt sympathies to his partner Elizabeth, son Ben and all his family and friends for their loss.

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