Gillian Anderson, conductor


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Gillian Anderson, conductor 

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 IntoleranceGriffithiana 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. 



 


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