Following successful performance engagements in Venice and London, the Australian String Quartet (ASQ) returns home for its first National Season tour, Migration.
Touring nationally from 23 May to 5 June, the ASQ is joined by renowned Australian guitarist Slava Grigoryan. One of Australia’s favourite musicians, Slava brings his guitar’s lyrical warmth to the textures of the string quartet in two singular pieces of contemporary sensibility by Ralph Towner and Iain Grandage.
Ralph Towner is famed as an improviser, his albums both in his own name and with the band Oregon forming a cornerstone of the iconic genre-bending recording label, ECM. As a composer, Towner explores a territory encompassing jazz and classical domains, the rhythms and harmonies of jazz style fusing with a classical sense of construction and development.
“Towner’s guitar quintet, Migration, draws from his roots in the US Pacific Northwest and a lifetime of experience in the jazz world to create a fluid and rhythmically intricate journey that explores the expressive and virtuosic capabilities of the guitar and string quartet.”, said ASQ violinist, Dale Barltrop.
Iain Grandage is one of the most powerful communicators in Australian music – combining rich technique with theatrical flair and a direct expressive voice to reach his audience.
Comparing the two diverse contemporary quintets in the program, Barltrop says, “Australian composer, Grandage, uses the same instrumental combination to create a darker, more contemplative world in Black Dogs, a rumination on the nature of the human mind and its fragility.”
The program concludes with the epic, final string quartet of Franz Schubert. It is a towering achievement in quartet writing – on one hand, utterly symphonic in scope – on the other, a vivid glimpse into the tortured soul of a young man who was soon to depart this world at the tender age of 31.
The ASQ has enjoyed a long-standing and successful performance history with Slava Grigoryan – sharing numerous performance collaborations in Australia and in China over the past decade. In recent months, this collaboration has seen the development of a new album titled Migration for release through ABC Classics. Available from 19 May, the Migration album release features the Towner and Grandage quintets, together with a work by Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel.
In December 2016, the ASQ was delighted to celebrate the marriage of its cellist, Sharon Draper to guitarist Slava Grigoryan. This happy union will see Sharon adopt the surname Grigoryan from May 2017.
For further information on the ASQ and the Migration tour visit the website at asq.com.au or phone 1800 040 444 for details.
Emma CollisonM: 0418 584 795
Australian String Quartet, Chief Executive, Australian String Quartet
With a rich history spanning over 30 years, the Australian String Quartet (ASQ) has a strong national profile as an Australian chamber music group of excellence, performing at the highest international level. From its home base at the University of Adelaide, Elder Conservatorium of Music, the ASQ delivers a vibrant annual artistic program encompassing performances, workshops, commissions and education projects across Australia and abroad.
P: +61 8 8313 4775
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