Gerard Gillen has been Titular Organist of Dublin’s Pro-Cathedral since 1976 and is Professor Emeritus of Music at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, where he was head of Department from 1985 to 2007. He is widely regarded as one of Ireland’s leading church and concert organists. A First Class Honours graduate University College, Dublin, Oxford University, and the Royal Flemish Conservatoire of Music, Antwerp (where he gained the Prix d’Excellence, the highest award for instrumental performance, in the class of Flor Peeters), Professor Gillen has given over 900 recitals throughout Europe, Israel, and America, performing in such prestigious venues as the Royal Festival Hall, London, King’s College, Cambridge, St Thomas’, New York, Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, Notre-Dame and La Madeleine, Paris, St Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna, St Thomas’, Leipzig, St Bavo, Haarlem, cathedrals of Brussels, Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, Pittsburgh, and major recital venues in Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia, Italy etc. He has also been a member of international competition juries in Oxford, Ann Arbor, London and Dublin.
Gerard Gillen was founder-chairman of the Dublin International Organ & Choral Festival (now the Pipeworks Festival) of which he was artistic director from 1990 to 2000. In 1984 he was conferred with Knighthood of St Gregory (KCSG) by the Vatican, and in 2006 he was created a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government. He is currently chair of the National Advisory Committee on Church Music to the Irish Episcopal Conference. Other honours include the John Betts Visiting Fellowship at Oxford (1992); in December 1996 he was nominated the classical winner in Ireland’s annual TV National Entertainment Awards, the first organist to be so honoured. In 2007 he was awarded a doctorate honoris causa by the Pontifical University of Maynooth.