Gillian Anderson is a conductor and musicologist. She specializes in the relation between music and moving images and has conducted throughout the United States as well as in Europe, South America, and Canada.
Her performances have been described as "triumphant" (The Washington Post), "extraordinary" (Edward Rothstein, The New York Times) and "an enormously involving experience" (Tom Di Nardo, Philadelphia Daily News).
Her reconstruction and performance of Nosferatu (Murnau, 1921) with the Brandenburg Philharmonic (Potsdam) is available on BMG Classics (09026-68143-2; LC 0316; F:BM650). A videotape and CD of her reconstruction and performance of Carmen (DeMille, 1915) with the London Philharmonic are available from Video Artists International (VAI) (VAI 69222). A videotape and DVD of her reconstruction and performance of Haexan (Christiansen, 1922) with an ensemble from Prague are available from Criterion Films. A DVD of her new accompaniment for Pandora's Box will be forthcoming from Criterion Films (134), and a DVD of her new accompaniment for Pandora's Box (Murnau, 1928) with the Michigan Sinfonietta is available from Criterion (358).
With painter Lidia Bagnoli she has made a short film Inganni which was commissioned by and shown at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC in conjunction with an exhibit on Trompe L'oeil. She has been featured on a number of television programs, most notably "CBS Sunday Morning" and "All Things Considered Weekend". Together with Ronald Sadoff she has founded the journal, Music and the Moving Image, published by the University of Illinois Press.
She has participated in the restoration and reconstruction of the original orchestral scores written to accompany thirty-four of the great silent films and has conducted them in synchronization with their projection at many important film festivals, universities, and performing arts centers with many symphony orchestras: Amor de Perdiçao (Pallu, 1921), Ben Hur (Niblo, 1926), The Birth of a Nation (Griffith, 1915), The Black Pirate (Fairbanks, 1926), La Boheme (Vidor, 1926), Broken Blossoms (Griffith, 1919), CarmenThe Circus (DeMille, 1915), (Chaplin, 1928), The Covered Wagon (Cruze, 1923), Four Hundred Tricks of the Devil (Melies, 1907), The Gold Rush (Chaplin, 1925), Haexan (Christiansen, 1922), Intolerance (Griffith, 1916), Jeanne Dore (Mercanton, 1915), The Making of an American (Connecticut Department of Americanization, 1920), Master of the House (Dreyer, 1925), Nosferatu (1922) (Murnau, 1922), Old Ironsides (Cruze, 1926), Orphans of the Storm (Griffith, 1921), Pandora's BoxParsifal (Pabst 1928), (Edison, 1904), The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1928), Peter Pan (Brenon, 1924), The Phantom of the Opera (Julian, 1929), The Plastic Age (Ruggles, 1925), Playa y Costa Brava (Isidor Socias,1934), La P'tite Lilie (Cavalcanti, 1927), El Punyo de Hierro (Mexico, 1927), Robin Hood (Fairbanks, 1923), The Ten Commandments (DeMille, 1923), Tepayac (Mexico, 1918), The Thief of Bagdad (Fairbanks, 1924), Way Down East (Griffith, 1920), The White Sister (King, 1923), Wings (Wellman, 1927), The Yankee Clipper (Julian, 1927) with the Ann Arbor Symphony, the Basel Symphony Orchestra (Switzerland), Basque Country Orchestra (Spain), the Het Brabants Orkest (Holland), the Brandenburg Philharmonic, Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquestra classica da Porto (Portugal), Orquestra Regional do Norte (Portugal), the Cinephonic Orchestra (DC), the Columbus Symphony, the Orchestra sinfonica dell'Emilia Romagna, the Los Angeles Heritage Society Orchestra, the Ljubljana Radio-Television Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Michigan Sinfonietta, the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, the National Gallery Orchestra, the National Symphony, the Orchestra Symphonique d'Europe, the orchestra of the Teatro communale di Bologna, the Puerto Rican Symphony, the RAI orchestra (Rome, Italy), het Residentie Orkest (The Hague, Netherlands), the San Diego Symphony, members of the Strasbourg Symphony (France), members of the Toronto Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony, the Victoria Symphony, the Virginia Symphony, Westfalische Symphony Orchestra, the Eastman Dryden Orchestra, the New York University Chamber Orchestra, members of the Manhattan School of Music Orchestra, the Classic Ensemble of Northwestern University, the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra, the University of Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra, the University of Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, and the orchestra of the University of Chicago.
She has premiered a number of the reconstructed versions of these works at festivals in America, Europe, and South America: at the New York Film Festival, the Pordenone Silent Film Festival, the (Washington) DC Filmfest, Cine Memoire in Paris, San Sebastian Film Festival (Spain), the Toronto Film Festival, the Lisbon celebration of the 100th anniversary of the invention of the motion picture, the Bologna Cinema Ritrovato, The British Silent Film Festival at the Barbicon, The Cologne celebration of the 100th anniversary of the discovery of the motion picture, Cinemusic Gstaad, the Tribeca Film Festival, and the Film Music Society. In June 1992 she was the first woman and the only foreigner to conduct the Garde republicaine at the Fete de la musique in Paris in a concert of opera transcriptions for band by John Phillip Sousa. In 1997 she founded the group Cinemusica Viva which had its premiere concerts at the Louvre November 15 and 16, 1997. In 1998 she premiered a new work by Elmer Bernstein for the Melies film, 400 Tricks of the Devil, at the Library of Congress as well as the reconstructed version of La Boheme. She and Cinemusica Viva opened the Bologna (Italy) Film Festival Cinema Ritrovato 1998 with The Black Pirate. In December 1998 she helped open the newly restored Egyptian Theater in Hollywood with a reconstruction of The Ten Commandments. In the spring of 2001 she performed a series of classical music concerts with the Orchestra sinfonica dell'Emilia Romagna accompanied by the handpainted slides of Italian painter and scenery designer Lidia Bagnoli. The concerts were designed to bring a new audience to classical music. In 2003 she helped celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars) with two performances at the Academy of Wings (Welman, 1927).
Ms. Anderson has written four books (among them Music for Silent Films 1894-1929: A Guide, Washington, 1988, which now is available online from the Library of Congress Music Division) and numerous scholarly articles as well as edited a number of performing editions. With Ron Sadoff she edited an issue of Film International devoted to music and moving images and with Ron Sadoff and Tom Riis an issue of American Music devoted to film music. Some of her articles have been: “No Music Until Cue”: The Reconstruction of D. W. Griffith’s Intolerance. Griffithiana 13/ 38-39: 158-69; “The Music of ‘The Circus’: LC Specialist Conducts Original Accompaniment to Film,” Library of Congress Information Bulletin, Vol. 52, No. 17 (30 Sept 1993), p. 341-49; “Preserving our Film Heritage or Making Mongrels? The Presentation of Early (Not Silent) Films,” Journal of Film Preservation, n. 57, p. 23; "Musical missionaries: 'Suitable' music in the cinema 1913-1915," Civiltà musicale 51/52 (gennaio-agosto 2004); “Intolerance. Music,” with Philip Carli, The Griffith Project, Vol. 9, (BFI, 2005), p.75-80; “Geraldine Farrar and Cecil B. DeMille, The Effect of Opera on Film and Film on Opera in 1915,” Carmen From Silent Film to MTV, (Editions Rodopi B.V., 2005), p. 23-35; "A Consummation and a Harbinger of the Future: Mortimer Wilson's Accompaniments for Douglas Fairbanks," Film International, #13 2005:1, pp 32-39. She is currently working on “The Influence of Way Down East in Great Britain,” and “The Music for Way Down East: A Harbinger of the Future,” to be published by the Fondazione Levi. She received her diploma from The Winsor School, Boston, Mass., in 1961, a B.A. in Biology from Bryn Mawr College in 1965, a M.M. in Musicology from the University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill., in 1969, and a MLS from the University of Maryland in 1989.
She graduated Cum Laude from Bryn Mawr College, and is a member of the Pi Kappa Lambda Music Honorary. Her book, Freedom's Voice in Poetry and Song, was chosen as the best reference book of the year by Choice Magazine, and her article "Putting the Experience of the World at the Nation's Command: Music at the Library of Congress 1800-1917" was awarded the Music Library Association's Richard Hill Award for best article in 1989. From 1993-1995 she served as President of the Sonneck Society for American Music (now the Society for American Music). She currently serves as a board member of the Film Music Society and a member of the Executive Committee of the Film Music Museum.
She was born November 28, 1943 in Brookline, Mass. Ms. Anderson's leisure interests are everything Italian, camping, cooking, cycling, drawing and equalrights.