December 16, 1931 |
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Gilbert studied at the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à Montréal under Yvonne Hubert (piano) and Gabriel Cusson (harmony and counterpoint). He also studied the organ privately with Conrad Letendre in Montréal. In 1953 he won the Prix d'Europe for organ performance, an award which enabled him to pursue studies in Paris, France with Nadia Boulanger (composition), Maurice Duruflé (organ), Ruggero Gerlin (harpsichord), Gaston Litaize (organ), and Sylvie Spicket (harpsichord) from 1953-1955. He later studied the harpsichord privately under Wanda Landowska.
Gilbert made his first recordings with the Canadian label Baroque Records Co. of Canada Ltd. in 1962 - an all J.S. Bach program, followed by several more solo harpsichord recordings of music by Bach, another of Rameau, and several chamber music albums with other Canadian artists: Mario Duschenes (flute & recorder), Steven Staryk (violin), Jacques Simard (oboe), as well as French flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal. As organist, he recorded an album of works by Boehm, Buxtehude and Walther on two Casavant-built instruments in Quebec. (All of these recordings were subsequently reissued on Orion Master Recordings in the U.S.A.) In 1983 he recorded a two-CD selection from the Montreal Organ Book on the Hellmuth Wolff organ at McGill University for the Canadian label Analekta.
He was the teacher of harpsichordist John Whitelaw.
Decorations and awards
- Officer of the Order of Canada (1986)
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1988)
- Honorary doctorate in Music (McGill University, Montreal)
- Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music (London)
- Member of the Royal Society of Canada
- Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, 1st class (1999)
- Boston Globe, 22-Mar-1974, Richard Dyer, "Gilbert drops mystique"
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