She joined the South Bank Centre as Head of Contemporary Culture in 2006, before which time she had a long association with both Southbank Centre and the London Sinfonietta. She was the Artistic Director of the London Sinfonietta from 1998 to 2006, combining that post with running the audience development programme Inside Music at the Royal Festival Hall and being a Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Music. In 1998 she was also Artistic Director of the ISCM World Music Days in Manchester. She was Head of Education at the South Bank Centre from 1993 to 1998, developing an approach that integrated educational and artistic activity. From 1983 to 1993, she was the Education Officer at London Sinfonietta, the first such post of its kind in the UK, and she initiated work with contemporary music in schools, prisons and in the wider community.
Berio, Radiohead, Steve Reich, Akram Khan..
During her career, Gillian has collaborated with many of the great musical and artistic figures of our age, from Luciano Berio to Radiohead, from Harrison Birtwistle to Squarepusher, from Steve Reich to Akram Khan. She has commissioned many significant new works as well as creating opportunities for artists to reach the widest possible audiences with their work.
In 1991 Gillian was awarded the Sir Charles Groves Award for services to British music, in 1992 she was created an Honorary Member of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and in 1994 she was awarded an MBE for services to music and education. She received the Association of British Orchestras Award in 1998 for contribution to British orchestral life, and was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Music in 2000. She was made an Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 2003 and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Brunel University in 2006. Gillian regularly writes and broadcasts about music. In particular, she is a regular contributor to BBC Television’s coverage of The Proms. Gillian is a council member of the Royal College of Music and of the Royal Philharmonic Society.