South African born violist and overtone singer, Gareth Lubbe, appears as soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, America, Africa and Asia. He received his first musical education
on piano and violin at the age of four and made his violin debut with orchestra only five years later after which he received numerous prizes at national competitions. As pianist his true love
for chamber music was awakened and he also performed with the Radio Orchestra of South Africa. In 1994, he had the honor of performing at the presidential inauguration of Nelson Mandela in Pretoria.
After studies in South Africa, he went on to study in Germany with Peter Matzka, Gorjan Kosuta, Barbara Westphal and the Alban Berg Quartet, amongst others. In 2005 he started a career as principal viola player, firstly at the Royal Flemish Philharmonic in Antwerpen (Phillipe Herreweghe) and two years later on the same position at the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig under the baton of Riccardo Chailly. During his eight years in that orchestra, he began exploring the realms of musical-education at the Leipzig „Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy“Conservatory and in 2013 was appointed as professor of viola at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen.
He is on the international faculty of the annual Chamber Music Festival in Stellenbosch which brings together up to 400 young students from across Africa and other parts of the world. He is also a regular guest at international festivals in Finland, England, South Korea, Japan and Brazil amongst others. Multi-phonic vocal techniques and viola playing go hand in hand with Gareth. As overtone singer, he performs and gives active lectures around the world, translating the phenomenon of overtone singing into the possibilities of sound production on one’s own instrument. In 2011 he held regular overtone-singing workshops with the Thomas Boys Choir in Leipzig which resulted in performances with the choir next to Bach’s grave in the Thomas Church. Gareth has performed as overtone singer at the Salzburger Festspiele and was invited by the Goethe Institute to perform at an ethnic festival in the Altay mountains of southern Siberia where this polyphonic vocal technique has always been a vital element of the music of that region.
Composers have written music for Gareth’s overtone singing, including Sören Nils- Eichberg and most recently award winning German composer Bernd Franke who composed „Fynbos” for
overtone singer and string orchestra, which was premiered in Stockholm in November 2016. Gareth’s vocal and instrumental projects have led to work with artists such as Hayden Chisholm,
Rebecca Horn, Dame Evelyn Glennie, the Finnish ensemble „Pipoka” and many more. His most recent album release is a duo with the renowned Jazz pianist Simon Nabatov. „Lubatov” (Leo
Records) which is based on their shared territories of knowledge and interest in new music, modern classics and improvised music.
Gareth is very much at home in the world of improvisation, and one of his annual highlights is performing on the compost organ as member of the Agricultural Symphony at the Stelzen Festspiele bei Reuth amongst the meadows and fields of the Vogtland mountains of east Germany. Together with artistic director and multi- instrumentalist, Henry Schneider, as well as the sound artist Erwin Stache, Gareth uses the festival as a podium to unify all genres and styles of the arts and make music with any object from a spade to a cluster-assembly- milking machine.