"New with Grieg!" - Ligeti and harmonics
In our series "News at Grieg!" - Conversation and Concert with Contemporary Music, violist and overtone singing specialist Gareth Lubbe introduces himself.
On the occasion of György Ligeti's 100th birthday, Gareth Lubbe presents a program of overtone singing and improvisation interwoven with the help of the Hungarian master's epic Sonata for Solo Viola. Recalling his days as principal violist of the Gewandhaus Orchestra, Gareth follows the motto that true joy is a serious thing. Conversations form the evening's basso continuo.
South African-born violist and overtone singer Gareth Lubbe performs as a soloist and chamber musician in Europe, America, Africa and Asia. In 1994, he had the honor of playing at the inauguration of President Nelson Mandela. After his studies in South Africa, he continued his training in Germany with Peter Matzka, Gorjan Kosuta, Barbara Westphal and the Alban Berg Quartet, among others.
In 2005 he began his career as a principal violist. First at the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra in Antwerp under Philippe Herreweghe and two years later at the Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig under Riccardo Chailly. He remained with this orchestra for seven years.
While still working as an orchestral musician, Lubbe held a teaching position for viola at the Hochschule für Musik "Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy" Leipzig and in 2013 followed the call to become a professor at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen.
Lubbe is a permanent faculty member of the Chamber Music Festival in Stellenbosch, South Africa. He is also a regular guest at international festivals in Finland, Sweden, England, South Korea, Japan, Brazil, etc. He is also a frequent guest at the Spectrum Concerts chamber music series at the Berlin Philharmonie. He collaborates with artists such as Janine Jansen, Mischa Maisky, Boris Brovtsyn, Claudio Bohorquez, Hayden Chisholm, Rebecca Horn, Dame Evelyn Glennie. His recordings can be heard on Naxos and elsewhere. As a soloist, Gareth has performed with the DSO Symphony Orchestra at the Berlin Philharmonie and the Munich Chamber Orchestra.
Polyphonic singing and viola playing go hand in hand for Gareth. As an overtone singer he gives concerts and workshops all over the world. He translates the phenomenon of overtones and also uses the sound production possibilities he has gained for this purpose in his playing on the viola and in the education of his students. His voice can be heard in film, television, radio and even computer games. Works for Lubbe's overtone singing have been written several times, including by Sören Nils-Eichberg and Bernd Franke. The recent CD release Lubatov (Leo Records) features the results of Lubbe's duo collaboration with renowned jazz pianist Simon Nabatov. Lubbe's collaboration with composer and trombonist Nils Wogram was named best album of the year at the 2022 German Jazz Awards (MUSE Quartet).
Gareth Lubbe is at home in the world of improvised music. One of the highlights of his annual travels is making music on a manure organ at the Stilt Festival near Reuth. He uses this as a podium to bring together all genres and expressions of art.
Gareth Lubbe is also a board member of Community H.E.A.R.T. (Health, Education and Reconstruction Training), an initialive of South African freedom fighter Denis Goldberg. In 2019, Lubbe was appointed international ambassador of his social project Denis Goldberg House of Hope in Cape Town.