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Gilbert, Kenneth

Gilbert, Kenneth

Gilbert, Kenneth, esteemed Canadian harpsichordist, organist, musicologist, and pedagogue; b. Montreal, Dec. 16, 1931. He received training in organ from Conrad Letendre in Montreal, where he also studied at the Cons, with Yvonne Hubert (piano) and Gabriel Cusson (harmony and counterpoint). After winning the Prix de Europe for organ in 1953, he pursued his training in Europe with Boulanger (composition), Litaize and Durufle (organ), and Sylvia Spicket and Ruggero Gerlin (harpsichord) until 1955. From 1952 to 1967 he was organist and music director of Queen Mary Road United Church in Montreal. He devoted himself almost exclusively to harpsichord performances from 1965. After making his London recital debut in 1968, he pursued a global career. He also taught at the Montreal Cons. (1957-74), McGill Univ. (1964-72), and Laval Univ. (1969-76). In 1969-70 he was artist-in-residence at the Univ. of Ottawa. From 1971 to 1974 he was a guest prof, at the Royal Flemish Cons, of Music in Antwerp. He gave master classes in various European and American cities. In 1988 he became a teacher at the Salzburg Mozarteum. He also served as prof. of harpsichord at the Paris Cons, from 1988, the first Canadian to hold such a position there. Gilbert ed. the complete harpsi-chord works of François Couperin (4 vols., 1969-72), all 555 sonatas of Domenico Scarlatti (11 vols., 1971-84), and the complete harpsichord works of Rameau (1979). In 1986 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. He was elected to membership in the Royal Soc. of Canada in 1988.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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