• Biography of Clive Gillinson, Executive and Artistic Director

    Clive Gillinson became Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall in July 2005, having been appointed the previous season.  He is responsible for developing the artistic concepts for Carnegie Hall presentations in its three halls – the celebrated Isaac Stern Auditorium (cap. 2804), the innovative new Zankel Hall (cap. 600), and the intimate Weill Recital Hall (cap. 268) – representing approximately 180 performances each season, ranging from orchestral concerts, chamber music, solo recitals, and chamber music to jazz, world, and popular music.

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  • Mr. Gillinson also oversees the management of all aspects of the world-renowned venue, including strategic and artistic planning, resource development, education, finance, and administration and operations for The Weill Music Institute which taps the resources of Carnegie Hall to bring music education to people from all walks of life in the New York City metropolitan region, across the United States, and around the world.

    Since his arrival in New York, Mr. Gillinson has worked to build upon the quality, creativity, diversity, and extraordinary history for which Carnegie Hall is widely known.  Under his leadership, Carnegie Hall has embarked upon a bold new direction in its concert and education programming, augmenting and integrating current offerings with large-scale festivals each year that use the full range of the Hall’s artistic and educational resources and take audiences on musical journeys that extend beyond single performances and concert series.  Carnegie Hall presented its first major international festival, Berlin in Lights, in November 2007, exploring the vibrant city that is Berlin today.  Berlin in Lights was followed by two city-wide festivals examining the dynamic culture and distinctive history of American music—Bernstein: The Best of All Possible Worlds in fall 2008 and Honor! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy in spring 2009—and Ancient Paths, Modern Voices, an expansive festival celebrating Chinese culture in fall 2009. A new West Coast partnership with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County and Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California brought Carnegie Hall’s festival programming to audiences outside New York for the first time in fall 2009, when the China festival was offered simultaneously on both US coasts.  In the coming season, Carnegie Hall will present JapanNYC, an ambitious two-part festival exploring the Japanese cultural landscape with more than 40 events throughout New York City in December 2010 and spring 2011.  A sister festival—JapanOC—will be presented in Southern California from October 2010 through April 2011.

    As a demonstration of his strong belief that the arts should be central to society and accessible to all, Mr. Gillinson also conceptualized and helped implement The Academy—a program of Carnegie Hall, The Juilliard School, and the Weill Music Institute in partnership with the New York City Department of Education.  Established in 2007, The Academy is an innovative fellowship for outstanding US-based post-graduate musicians.  Designed to help bridge the gap between academic and professional lives, the two-year program provides musicians with performance opportunities, advanced musical training, and intensive teaching instruction and hands-on experience working in New York City public schools.

    Clive Gillinson was born in Bangalore, India, in 1946; his mother was a professional cellist and his father, a businessman, also wrote and painted. Mr. Gillinson began studying the cello at the age of eleven and played in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. He went to London University to study mathematics, but realizing that he wanted to make music his life, entered the Royal Academy of Music, where he gained a Recital Diploma and won the top cello prize.  After attending the Royal Academy of Music, Mr. Gillinson became a member of the Philharmonia Orchestra.

    Mr. Gillinson joined the London Symphony Orchestra cello section in 1970 and was elected to the Board of Directors of the self-governing orchestra in 1976, also serving as Finance Director. In 1984 he was asked by the Board to become Managing Director of the LSO, a position he held until becoming the Executive and Artistic Director of Carnegie Hall in 2005.

    Under Mr. Gillinson's leadership, the LSO initiated some of that city’s most innovative and successful artistic festivals, working with many of today's leading artists. In the international touring arena, the LSO established an annual residency in New York from 1997 and was a founding partner in the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan, in 1990, with Leonard Bernstein and Michael Tilson Thomas.   Mr. Gillinson believes in taking great music to the society at large.  In this area, his initiatives with the London Symphony Orchestra included the development of the LSO Discovery music education program, reaching over 30,000 people of all ages annually; and the creation of LSO St. Luke’s, the UBS and LSO Music Education Center; which involved the restoration and reconstruction of St. Luke’s, a magnificent, but previously derelict 18th-century church.  Mr. Gillinson also created LSO Live, the orchestra's award-winning international CD label.

    Mr. Gillinson has served as Chairman of the Association of British Orchestras; was one of the founding Trustees of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts; and was founding Chairman of the Management Committee of the Clore Leadership Programme. He was awarded the CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in the 1999 New Year Honours List and received the 2004 Making Music Sir Charles Grove Prize for his outstanding contribution to British music.  Mr. Gillinson was appointed Knight Bachelor in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2005, the only orchestra manager ever to be honored with a Knighthood.  He received an Honorary Doctorate from the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia in May 2007.  In May 2010, he received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Skidmore College and was recipient of the Eastman School of Music’s Luminary Award. In 2011, Mr. Gillinson served on the cello jury of the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition. Mr. Gillinson is an Honorary Fellow of the Guildhall School (HonFGS) and also serves on the Honorary Board of Brubeck Institute of the University of the Pacific.

    Mr. Gillinson and his wife, Penny, have three children, Sarah, Miriam, and David. An avid reader and champion of the theater and cinema, Mr. Gillinson is also a sports enthusiast and participates regularly in tennis and running.