Gareth Lubbe (Viola & overtone singing)

Gareth Lubbe

South African born violist and overtone singer, Gareth Lubbe, appears as soloist and chamber musician throughout Europe, America, Africa and Asia and has worked in the past as principal violist with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, performing with conductors such as Claudio Abbado and Daniel Harding amongst others. 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 also has the privilege of meeting up regularly with friends and colleagues at festivals such as Purbecks (U.K.), Kuhmo (Finland) and O/Modernt (Sweden) 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. Gareth has appeared in various films including the recently released international film “No Mans Land” which commemorates the first world war through the musical medium of fifty worldwide artists on the battle fields of that great and atrocious war. With his Mongolian throat singing/talking, he represented the demons and other creatures of the dark side in the PC game ‘Demon World’.

His vocal 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) is based on their shared territories of knowledge and interest in new music, modern classics and improvised music.

Raised as a privileged white kid in Johannesburg, Gareth received his first musical education on Piano and Violin at the age of four. He made his violin debut with orchestra when he was nine years of age after which he received numerous prizes at national competitions. As pianist he performed with the radio orchestra of South Africa. In 1994, he had the honour 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 (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 music-education at the Leipzig “Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy” Conservatory and in 2013 was appointed successor of Vladimir Mendelssohn as Professor of Viola at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen where he now has a class of Viola students from around the world. He currently lives in Cologne with his Estonian wife, the pianist Hanna Heinmaa, and three esto-african children, Linda, Oliver and Alice.