Born in England in 1963, Gila (known outside Israel as Gillian) Carcas has composed over fifty pieces of music, ranging from solo and small chamber works to full orchestral pieces and a chamber opera.
Compositional studies were undertaken with Sebastian Forbes, John Casken, Erika Fox and with Peter Manning for electroacoustic music. Qualifications include a PhD in Composition from Durham University, which was received in 1996. Gila has since taught music and composition at various British institutions, including Southampton University and the Royal College of Music Junior Department in London.
Performances of Gila's work have been given by many artists and ensembles, including Jane Chapman, Gemini, EOS, Double Image, the Bingham Quartet, Musica Mundi, the New London Chamber Choir, the West Sussex Philharmonic Choir, the Durham Singers, Jane's Minstrels, Rosy Voices, Ensemble Alternance and Synchronia.
Previous commissions comprise several chamber pieces including “Cissbury Ring” for the ensemble Gemini and “The Ladies’ Defence” which is a setting of eighteenth century feminist texts, as well as some choral works. Gila was also commissioned to write “Towards the Dawn” for orchestra, premiered under her baton in 1999, and more recently “Avraham Avinu” as part of a cutting edge project to develop a new version of the traditional Chinese pipa, set with the Arabic ney and darabukkah and first performed in London in February 2005. Since moving to Israel in 2004, Gila has also arranged many Jewish melodies for ensemble.
Composition prizes include co-winner of the 1996 Cornelius Cardew Composition Competition.
Gila's music is atmospheric, evocative, dramatic and lyrical. A review of her orchestral piece "In Search of Loriel" in its performance by EOS described it as "music which seems to come from the space between the space between the stars. . .It is a glowing, sensitive work we should hear much more of."
(Peter Buchan, West Sussex County Times, 27 June 1997).
In 2008 Gila married Aharon Wittow and she presently lives in Jerusalem.