Gerry McDonald studied at the Royal Academy of Music where he gained several major prizes and scholarships. He originally intended to pursue a career as an orchestral cor-anglais player but, having taken up the recorder as a hobby in his second year, became fascinated by the musical possibilities offered by historical instruments. Two years later he made his Queen Elizabeth Hall debut playing Brandenburg Four to a capacity audience.
He returned to the Academy as Shinn Fellow and acting Professor of Recorder and Baroque Flute, during which time he was largely responsible for introducing the study of historical instruments. One of the few present-day musicians to re-create the baroque practice of multi-instrument virtuosity, he performs regularly on historical flutes, oboes, recorders and chalumeau. He maintains a regular London concerto profile with several ensembles and his recording of Vivaldi’s trio for recorder bassoon and continuo has been broadcast on Radio Three’s The Early Music Show. His portfolio of teaching activities has for many years ranged from both child and adult beginners to professional level, with teaching, coaching, lecturing, examining and consulting work involving the four London Conservatoires and London, Cambridge, Leeds and Anglia Universities. He has also held long term posts in the Music Departments of several major London Independent Schools. He is a familiar figure to Chichester audiences having worked with the locally based Consort of Twelve for over thirty-five years.