GuitArt QuArtet

GHA Records

GuitArt QuArtet

The GuitArt QuArtet (GQ) of Avellino, Italy is critically acclaimed as one of the most original and inventive guitar ensembles performing in the world today. After graduating “magna cum laude”, these four guitarists formed this unique ensemble in 1997 with the ambition of developing a new, innovative repertoire of a virtuosic nature.

This formation has kindled the interest of today’s most important composers. Angelo Gilardino composed the Concerto italiano for four guitars and orchestra (première in 1999); Gerard Drozd wrote in 2001 the Concerto rapsodico op.80 for four guitars and orchestra, premiered by GQ in the Lublin (Poland) International Festival in the same year. International recognition was achieved by GQ in 2001 when Leo Brouwer wrote his Concierto italico and dedicated the work to GQ, the first Italians to whom the maestro dedicated one of his concerti. The GuitArt QuArtet joins the ranks of other guitar greats whom Brouwer has composed important works, such as Julian Bream, Sharon Isbin and John Williams. The Concierto italico première was held in the Todi International Festival (in this same context, GQ also played an as yet published version of the Tango Suite for four guitars and orchestra by Astor Piazzolla) with Maestro Brouwer as conductor. With him, GQ produced a CD and a DVD illustrating the story of this première, widely regarded as “the guitar event of the year”.

GQ developed an unprecedented collaboration with Maestro Brouwer, who was the conductor in concerts for the Avana International Festival and for the Parma Teatro Regio in 2002.

In 2002 the English magazine Classical Guitar dedicated their front cover and an extensive interview by Colin Cooper, and M. Summerfield included this ensemble in the prestigious publication “The Classical Guitar,” that chronicles all of the most important guitar artists since 1800.

GQ performed in major international festivals, including the XIV International Spring Festival “Andrés Segovia” in Madrid, the Lublin International Festival, the III Gliwice International Festival, the Iserlhon International Festival, the León International Festival, the Cuba International Festival, to name but a few.

GQ was also involved in more non-traditional performances, such as the realization of Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint for “Musica e Oltre” in Pisa and the participation in the 2000 Guitar Event with Steve Hackett (founder of Genesis), Frank Gambale (ex-Chick Corea band member) and Maurizio Colonna.

To further the group’s commitment to new and innovative works, GQ also participated in the highly acclaimed Histoire du Tango, with pieces by Troilo, Gardel and Piazzolla, in collaboration with the famous actor-singer Alessandro Haber and in South America with the pop-singer Antonella Ruggiero, with music by Piazzolla, Ramirez, Rodriguez, Miguel, Gismonti, Evora, Guerra, Velasquez.

In 2002, GQ carried out a successful tour in the US, making their début with the Hartford Festival Orchestra conducted by Brian Sparks for the Connecticut Classical Guitar Society, and held two guitar and chamber music masterclasses for the Hartt School (University of Hartford).

The GQ CD From Spain to South America (Niccolò label), including works by Albéniz, de Falla and Piazzolla of which the French magazine Les cahiers de la guitare said “Et toujours règne cette impression très pleine due à l’interprétation qui est musicalement très impressionnante tant sur le plan de l’ensemble que sur celui de la couleur et de l’expression (...) les interprètes sont géniaux” (And always reigns this very full impression due to the ensemble’s brilliant interpretation and masterful use of color and expression) is distributed worldwide.

The latest project of GQ is truly original: the famous jazz composer and performer Egberto Gismonti authorized GQ to use his music for a new concerto for guitar quartet and orchestra to be composed by Leo Brouwer. This project can be foreseen as another bold enterprise. The “Gismontiana” was premiered in 2008 in Italy (Teatro C.Gesualdo, Avellino) and in Europe and USA.

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GuitArt QuArtet