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.
The members of the ASQ are privileged to perform on a matched set of Guadagnini instruments. Hand crafted by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini between c.1743-1784 in Turin and Piacenza, Italy, these exquisite instruments were brought together through the vision of Ulrike Klein. The instruments are on loan to the ASQ for their exclusive use through the generosity of Ulrike Klein and Ngeringa Arts.
Dale Barltrop plays a 1784 Guadagnini Violin, Turin.
Francesca Hiew plays a 1748-49 Guadagnini Violin, Piacenza.
Stephen King plays a 1783 Guadagnini Viola, Turin. Sharon Grigoryan plays a c.1743 Guadagnini Violoncello, Piacenza, ‘Ngeringa’.
SLAVA & LEONARD GRIGORYAN
Duos are common enough in the musical world, but sibling duos are a rare thing. Slava and Leonard Grigoryan are that rare thing. There is no rivalry, only the bonds of family and a love of music. Since their first acclaimed Australian tour in 2002, Slava and Leonard have astounded audiences worldwide with their guitar virtuosity. They have toured extensively throughout Australia and overseas: to Europe, the United States, Britain, Asia, South Africa and the Middle East.
When not on stage they are in the studio, having released six duo albums – the most recent ‘This Time’, recorded at the iconic Rainbow Studio in Oslo is a masterfully recorded album, with works by internationally acclaimed composers who have entrusted their creations into the worthy and welcoming hands of Slava & Leonard Grigoryan – four of these releases have been nominated for ARIA awards (Australia’s prestigious music awards).
The brothers also have performed with symphony orchestras and at international festivals in Australia and Europe. Slava continues in his position as Artistic Director of the Adelaide International Guitar Festival, a position he has held since 2010.
Although regarded as Australia’s finest guitar duo performing much of the instrument’s standard classical repertoire, their passion is to expand their horizons through new arrangements, their own compositions and commissions. This ambition can be heard as the brothers take the guitar into genres such as Latin, jazz, folk and contemporary music.
These qualities are evident not only in their own concerts, but in other projects in which they are involved: Slava is also a member of the guitar trio ‘MGT’ which includes two giants of the jazz world, Wolfgang Muthspiel & Ralph Towner. Leonard is composer and performer in the Australian contemporary ensemble ‘Magnolia’.
Rhys Boak is one of Australia’s busiest organists. He is in constant demand locally and internationally as both a recitalist and accompanist. He is currently the organist and manager of music at St. Michael’s Church, Melbourne. Rhys Boak was born in Melbourne. He studied organ with John Mallinson, Douglas Lawrence OAM and Sergio de Pieri at Melbourne University, and harpsichord with Ann Murphy.
He is a veteran of several concert tours including tours to Europe and Asia and his playing can be heard on more than a dozen CD recordings both as a soloist and as an accompanist to many of Australia’s finest choral ensembles.
In 2006 Rhys traveled to China where he gave a series of concerts with fellow Australian musician Geoffrey Tozer featuring the rare combination of Piano and Organ in duet. They ended each concert with a series of improvisations on local folk melodies. In 2011 Rhys again toured Germany, Denmark and France performing on several important historic instruments such as the Silberman organs of Freiberg Cathedral.
Rhys is highly active as an organist, pianist, choral conductor, composer and arranger. He has arranged and transcribed music for artists and institutions such as Greta Bradman, Geoffrey Payne, Sir Richard Bonynge, The English Chamber Orchestra, Move Records, Sony Records and Decca.
Australian baritone José Carbó was born in Argentina of Spanish and Italian descent, and moved with his family to Australia at an early age. He has studied under the tutelage of Thais Taras, Arax Mansourian and Margaret Baker Genovesi in Rome. He was the winner of the prestigious Australian Singing Competition Opera Award in 2005.
José made his début with Opera Australia, in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos (in 2002), and was soon engaged for their production of Il barbiere di Siviglia in the title role.
Most recently, he has sung Count Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro, Rossini’s Barbiere, Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor, Marcello in La bohème, Silvio in Pagliacci, Lescaut in Manon, Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte and First Officer in Madeline Lee for Opera Australia; for Opera Queensland – the title roles in Don Giovanni and Il barbiere, Belcore in L’elisir d’amore and Sonora in La fanciulla del West; for State Opera of South Australia – Rossini’s Figaro.
José Carbó has extensive experience on the concert platform: his performed repertoire includes Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Mass in C and Choral Symphony, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Rachmaninoff’s The Bells, Fauré’s Requiem, Brahms’ Eines Deutsches Requiem, Ralph Vaughan-Williams’ Mass in C minor and Mendelssohn’s Paulus with the major orchestras of Australia and New Zealand. In October 2006, José undertook a tour as the baritone soloist with the Sydney Symphony to Japan where he sang three Don Quixote songs by Ravel in Tokyo and Osaka.
Currently the Associate Concertmaster with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, violinist Sophie Rowell has had an extensive performing career as a soloist, chamber musician and principal orchestral violinist both in Australia and abroad. Since 2012 Sophie has traveled the world playing in principal violin positions with orchestras including the Scottish & Mahler Chamber Orchestras and the Vancouver, Sydney & Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, as well as participating in many chamber music festivals in Australia.
Although Sophie loves music she can always be tempted to exchange her violin for a pack of cards in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.
JANE DOYLE – COMPERE
Your Mistress of Ceremonies for Barossa Baroque and Beyond is Jane Doyle. Best known for her day job presenting Adelaide’s Seven News, Jane is also a devout arts lover and legend-in-her-own-bathroom shower singer.
Without the talent and training to match the artistry of the Grigoryan Brothers or the ASQ, Jane leaps at any opportunity to at least share a stage or be seen in the company of such superb musicians and their equally talented colleagues performing at this year’s festival.