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 and education events for well over three thousand flute players. Recent teaching engagements have included classes in the USA at Yale University (2015 & 2017) and Boston Flute Academy (2015, 2016, 2017) ; Guildhall School of Music & Drama; the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing; The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland; The Norwegian Academy of Music; Swedish Royal College of Music; Flutewise Academies in 2015, 2016, 2017; classes and performances at the British, Australian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Finnish, Swiss, Adams and Sir James Galway Flute Festivals, as well as concerts and masterclasses in Poland, France, Norway, Hong Kong, Denmark and Iceland.
In June 2013 Gareth was appointed as the Flute Professor 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 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, Europe & The Middle East including an arena tour with Tim Minchin including a concert 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, Pete Tong in 2015 and the Scott Walker Prom in 2017 in addition to several shows with Goldie at the Royal Festival Hall, Henley and Wilderness Festivals. Frequently in the Recording Studio - Gareth has recorded both as a soloist and in orchestra in Abbey Road, Air Studios, Angel, Eastcote, Kore, Fish Market, Retreat Studios for many TV, Motion Picture and Computer Game soundtracks, as well as for General Release Albums and Library Music. A regular in the pit orchestras of London’s West End, Gareth has played in numerous shows including Miss Saigon, Wicked, The Lion King, The Wizard of Oz, Love Never Dies, The Beautiful Game, Oliver! & The Lord of the Rings.
Gareth has worked with the Concordia Foundation since 2003. He has been an International Artist Ambassador with Concordia since 2008, performing concerts, including solo concertos, and giving masterclasses all over the World, including trips to Shanghai, Monaco, Nairobi and Siena. Gareth has also given solo recital performances for Irish Heritage.
Gareth is extremely proud to be the European Artist-in-Residence for Wm. S. Haynes Co. and is a Haynes Artist - playing on a custom made solid 14K gold Haynes flute #54321. He plays Irish Whistles handmade for him by William Simmons, an Amadeus by Wm. S. Haynes Alto Flute and custom made Eva Kingma bass and contrabass flutes.