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Beyond Boundaries: Saffire Guitar Quartet to Stretch Musical Limits

(Posted January 28, 2008)

Saffire: The Australian Guitar Quartet will perform in concert Feb. 8 in Rosenberger Auditorium.

--News Release--

Jan. 24, 2008

FIERY SAFFIRE: AUSTRALIAN GUITAR QUARTET WILL STEP EASILY ACROSS MUSICAL BOUNDARIES AT JUNIATA COLLEGE CONCERT


HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Four distinctive musicians will blend their talents and mix musical styles in an instrumental concert that is certain to strike a chord with guitar enthusiasts as Saffire: The Australian Guitar Quartet performs at Juniata College at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 8 in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts.

For tickets and information about the Juniata College Presents series, please call (814) 641-3608. General admission tickets for single performances are $20, except where otherwise noted. Single-show tickets for seniors over age 65 and children age 18 and under are $12. Juniata College students are admitted free with a student ID.

"Complex harmonies were interwoven by the four with delicacy or gusto, according to the demands of the piece, employing a broad sonic palate that extended well beyond the possibilities of the standard nylon-strung classical guitar."
South China Morning Post.


Four of Australia's most acclaimed guitar soloists have banded together to form an instrumental quartet equally at home playing "Greensleeves" or Green Day. Indeed, the group's repertoire runs the gamut from Bela Bartok to songs by heavy metal band Deep Purple.

The group, which formed in 2002, plays in multiple genres, including jazz, rock, flamenco, Celtic music and Renaissance compositions. Similarly, the group also performs using an array of guitars, including bass guitars, baritone guitars, steel guitars and dobro.

The group released its first album, "Saffire," in 2003, which featured flamenco and classical compositions. They followed with the more eclectic "Nostalgica," which featured rhumba music, Celtic classics such as "She Moved Through the Fair" and "Riverdance," and the Deep Purple classic "Highway Star." Their current album, "Renaissance," features such traditional music as "Greensleeves," "Guinevere's Dream," "The Parlement" and "La Rossignol."

"Complex harmonies were interwoven by the four with delicacy or gusto, according to the demands of the piece, employing a broad sonic palate that extended well beyond the possibilities of the standard nylon-strung classical guitar," wrote one critic of Saffire for Hong Kong's influential newspaper the South China Morning Post.

Each member of Saffire was a renowned guitarist in Australia before collaborating as a quartet.

Gareth Koch began his studies as a flamenco guitarist and soon moved through a rock 'n' roll phase and earned a doctoral degree in classical guitar at the Academy of Music in Vienna, Austria.

Karin Schaupp was taught guitar almost exclusively by her mother, Isolde Schaupp, but also earned a music degree from the University of Queensland. She maintains an active career as a soloist, performing with the London Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Springfield Symphony. She also released the solo album "Dreams" in 2004.

Slava Grigoryan has released six solo albums and received an Australian music award for the album "Sonatas and Fantasies." He tours internationally as a soloist, playing in London and Brighton, England, Dresden, Germany, Hong Kong and throughout Australia. He has performed with the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the Israel Symphony Orchestra.

Leonard Grigoryan has pursued a career as a soloist, but also plays as a duo with his brother, Slava. Leonard and Slava released their first duo album, "Play," in 2002 He plays in both classical and jazz genres and became a member of Saffire in 2005.



Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.