Internationally renowned and multi-award-winning flautist Gareth McLearnon left his native Belfast, Northern Ireland in 1999 to attend the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. While still a second year undergraduate student, Gareth was invited to record a track for the CD Songs for Alexander with the World famous flautist Sir James Galway and harpist Marisa Robles.
After graduation, Gareth was awarded the prestigious Ian Fleming Award from the Musicians Benevolent Fund, and a Countess of Munster Musical Trust Award. Following a year of postgraduate study, he was awarded a principal flute position in Southbank Sinfonia for their 2005 season.
As a performer, Gareth is in demand as a soloist, recording artist, orchestral and chamber musician. He has given many hundreds of performances across four continents, and has led masterclasses for well over two thousand young flute players all over the world, including recent classes in Hong Kong Flute Center, the AFLAUP festival in Portugal, Boston Flute Academy and Yale university in the USA.
In June 2013 Gareth was appointed as the Flute Tutor at the Yuri Bashmet International Music Academy in Samara, Russia. Further engagements all over Russia have followed on from this academy position including masterclasses in Novosibirsk, Tollyatti, Yekaterinburg, Zhoukovskiy, Moscow, Yaroslavl and Kazan and a 2014 concerto performance at the Yaroslavl Festival with the Moscow Soloists conducted by Maestro Bashmet himself.
Gareth has been principal flute of The Heritage Orchestra since 2009 – playing concerts all over the UK and Europe including an arena tour with Tim Minchin in 2011 in cluding at the O2 Arena; Antony & The Johnson’s shows in London and Paris; Sparks and Ben Folds performances at the Barbican; BBC Proms performances with Jamie Cullum in 2010 and Pete Tong in 2015, and several shows with Goldie at the Royal Festival Hall. A regular in the pit orchestras of London’s West End, he has played in numerous shows including Miss Saigon, Wicked, The Lion King, The Wizard of Oz, Love Never Dies, The Beautiful Game, Oliver! and The Lord of the Rings.
Gareth has worked with the Concordia Foundation since 2003, performing concerts, including solo concertos, and giving masterclasses all over the World, including concert tours to Shanghai, Monaco, Nairobi and Siena.
Gareth is extremely proud to be the European Artist-in-Residence for Wm. S. Haynes Co. and is a Haynes Performing Artist – playing on a custom made solid 14K gold Haynes flute.