Gareth Owen Sound Designer
Gareth Owen Sound Designer is an nine-time Tony & Olivier Award winner and nominee specialising in musical theatre in London’s West End, on Broadway, and internationally.
Gareth Owen was nominated for his first Tony Award in 2010 for his Broadway production of Trevor Nunn’s musical, A Little Night Music starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury.
He was then nominated for an Olivier Award for his West End production of Terry Johnson’s musical, End of the Rainbow starring multi-award-winning Tracie Bennett as Judy Garland. The show later transferred to Broadway where he went on to pick up a further Tony nomination for Best Sound Design.
In recent years Owen collected a 2nd Oliver nomination for Top Hat, and, after five nominations, finally won the Oliver for Best Sound Design in 2014 with the London production of Merrily We Roll Along.
In 2015 Owen won the Olivier for Sound Design for the second consecutive year, this time for Memphis at the Shaftesbury Theatre, starring Beverley Knight. Composed by David Bryan from Bon Jovi, and directed by Christopher Ashley, this marked his sixth win/nomination in a row. He also received the prestigious Pro Sound Award for his work on the same production.
In 2017, Owen won several awards for the Broadway musical Come From Away including the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Craig Noel Award, as well as a Helen Hayes Award nomination.
Gareth Owen has worked on over two hundred and seventy-five commercial sound designs throughout the world including 42nd Street, Starlight Express, Bat Out of Hell, Wind in the Willows, Disney’s Hunchback of Notre Dame, Spring Awakening, Young Frankenstein,The Bodyguard, Let it Be, Disney’s Little Mermaid, Sister Act, Hairspray, Disney’s Beauty & The Beast, Singin’ in the Rain, Aspects of Love, Footloose, Flashdance, Carousel, Fiddler on the Roof, Fame, Saturday Night Fever and La Cage Aux Folles.
Owen initially began working in live sound when the Penzance nightclub he was working at started to present live bands which Owen was asked to mix.
From here he secured work with Birmingham’s SSE Audio Group which lead to an early career in rock & roll, working at festivals such as Glastonbury, Reading, Party in the Park, and T4 on the Beach; and mixing acts such as Def Leppard, The Stereophonics, B B King, The Spice Girls and The Rolling Stones.
Gareth’s theatre career began in earnest when he was invited to mix the musical The Blues Brothers which was running at what is now the Trafalgar Studios in Londons west end. About this time, Owen is quoted as saying in an interview “I didn’t have a lot of money so I bought a tent and lived in the bands garden”.
From here he was offered a job as sound designer for the UK tour of Stephen Schwartz’ musical Godspell, beginning a collaboration that would continue until the present day. From here, Owen went on to design a number of shows in a freelance capacity (notably Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show and Cole Porters High Society), before joining London’s Orbital Sound as a full-time sound designer. In late 2009, Owen parted ways with Orbital Sound and set out to form his own company, Gareth Owen Sound.
Since 2010, Owen has worked directly with many of the world’s greatest living composers, including Alan Menken, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Schwartz, Björn Ulvaeus, Glen Ballard, Max Martin, David Bryan, George Stiles, Alan Silvestri, and Stephen Sondheim.
Owen has also worked extensively creating musicals based on the music of pop icons such as Michael Jackson, Donna Summer, and The Beatles; and is a regular collaborator with many top directors including Robert De Niro, Christopher Ashley, Jerry Zaks, Des McAnuff, Laurence Connor, Christopher Wheeldon, Terry Johnson, Scott Schwartz, Michael Arden and Sir Trevor Nunn.
In 2009, Owen joined a steering committee that would eventually go on to form the Association of Sound Designers – an organisation that eventually went on to represent the majority of sound engineers working in British theatre.
He served as a full committee member for the maximum possible term of five years, from 2012 to 2018.
Gareth is a co-founder of the software house Show Control Ltd, an organisation specialising in the coding and development of dedicated theatrical show control systems.
Gareth is also co-founder and CCO of audio hardware manufacturer Fourier Audio.
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