A native of England, Gerard McBurney studied in Cambridge and at the Moscow Conservatory before returning to London, where he worked for many years as a composer, arranger, broadcaster, teacher and writer. He is artistic programming advisor for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and creative director of Beyond the Score.
His original compositions include orchestral works, a ballet, a chamber opera, songs and chamber music as well as many theater scores. He also is well known for his reconstructions of various lost and forgotten works by Dmitri Shostakovich.
As a scholar, McBurney has published mostly in the field of Russian and Soviet music. His journalistic work includes articles on many different musical subjects. For 20 years, he created and presented many hundreds of programs on BBC Radio 3 (the classical music station of the British Broadcasting Corporation) as well as occasional programs for other radio stations in the U.K., Europe and the former Soviet Union.
Gerard McBurney has written, researched and presented more than two dozen documentary television films for British and German television channels. For many years he lectured and taught, first at the London College of Music and then for more than 10 years at the Royal Academy of Music. He also has acted as advisor and collaborated with many orchestras and presenters, including Lincoln Center, the Emerson String Quartet and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. McBurney joined the staff of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in September 2006.