Garth Knox was born in Ireland and spent his childhood in Scotland. He studied at the Royal College of Music in London where he won several prizes for viola and for chamber music. Thereafter he played with most of the leading groups in London in a mixture of all repertoires, from baroque to contemporary music.
In 1983 he was invited by Pierre Boulez to become a member of the Ensemble InterContemporain in Paris, which involved regular solo playing, including concertos directed by Pierre Boulez, and chamber music, touring widely and playing in international festivals.
In 1990 Garth Knox joined the Arditti String Quartet, which led him to play in all the major concert halls of the world, working closely with and giving first performances of pieces by most of today’s leading composers including Ligeti, Kurtag, Berio, Xenakis, Lachenmann, Cage, Feldman and Stockhausen (the famous“Helicopter Quartet”).
In 1998, Garth Knox left the quartet to concentrate on his solo career. As a soloist, he has given premieres by Henze (the Viola Sonata is dedicated to him), Ligeti, Schnittke, Ferneyhough, James Dillon, George Benjamin and many others. He also collaborates regularly in theatre and dance projects, and has written and performed a one-man show for children.
He has recently become a pioneer of the viola d’amore, exploring its possibilities in new music, with and without electronics, and is in the process of creating a new repertoire for this instrument.
Garth Knox now lives in Paris, where he enjoys a full time solo career, giving recitals, concertos and chamber music concerts all over Europe, the USA and Japan. His first solo CD “Works for Viola” won the coveted Deutsche Schallplaten Preis in Germany, his second CD “Spectral Viola” has been highly acclaimed, his viola d’amore Cd for ECM “D’Amore” was chosen by the New York Times as one of the Records of the Year, and his latest CD “Saltarello” was named record of the month by “Gramophone”.
Garth Knox is International Viola Tutor at the RNCM in Manchester, and Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London.