Gareth Farr was born in Wellington in 1968. He studied composition, orchestration and electronic music at Auckland University and was a regular player with the Auckland Philharmonia and the Karlheinz Company. Further study followed at Victoria University, Wellington, where he became known for his exciting compositions, often using the Indonesian gamelan. He played frequently as part of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra before going to the Eastman School in Rochester, New York, where he graduated Master of Music.
At 25, Gareth became Chamber Music New Zealand's youngest composer-in-residence. Since then, his works have been performed by the NZSO, the Auckland Philharmonia, the Wellington Sinfonia, the New Zealand String Quartet and a variety of other professional musicians. Gareth Farr is recognised as one of New Zealand's most important composers. He has been on a roll since he had four commissioned works performed during the 1994 International Festival of the Arts: 'Lilith's Dream of Ecstasy', solo pieces for Michael Houstoun (piano) and Alexa Still (Principal Flute, NZSO) respectively, and a ballet for Douglas Wright.