Bob Gilmore was a musicologist who wrote about contemporary music in western and central Europe and north America. His work fell into the categories of composer biography, music theory and analysis, and the critical historiography of music. His areas of specialism included American experimental music, microtonal and spectral music, and the new music scene in Ireland. He wrote about music of highly diverse kinds, manifesting strongly divergent aesthetic positions; the underlying thread was his fascination with creative individuals with strong, distinct identities. He was the author of Harry Partch: a biography (Yale University Press, 1998), a study of the pioneering American composer, theorist and instrument builder, and Claude Vivier: a Composer's Life (University of Rochester Press, 2014). He was also active as director and keyboard player of Trio Scordatura, an Amsterdam-based ensemble specialising in music exploring alternative tuning systems. He taught at Queens University Belfast, Dartington College of Arts and Brunel University in London. In September 2013 he took up a post as Senior Research Fellow at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent, Belgium. At the time of his death he was editor of Tempo, the UK-based journal of new music. Bob was diagnosed with cancer in September 2012. He died in Amsterdam on 2nd January 2015.
On 1st and 2nd March 2016 City University London and Cafe OTO hosted The world according to Bob: Two days of music and talks around the work of Bob Gilmore. The programme of the event is available here and includes recollections of Bob from those who knew and worked with him. Selected performances from the event were broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on September 3rd 2016 at 22:00.