Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
John Dearman | Matthew Greif | William Kanengiser | Scott Tennant
For nearly thirty years on the concert stage, the members of the Grammy-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet have continually set the standard for expression and virtuosity among guitar ensembles, while perennially redefining themselves in their musical explorations. Popularly known as the LAGQ, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, is recognized as one of America’s premier instrumental ensembles. As one of the most charismatic groups performing today, their critically acclaimed transcriptions of concert masterworks provide a fresh look at the music of the past, while their interpretations of works from the contemporary and world-music realms continually break new ground.
The LAGQ has given recitals in many of the world’s top venues, including Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, London’s Wigmore Hall, Tokyo Opera City, and New York’s Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. They have toured extensively in Europe and Asia, where they were featured at the Hong Kong, Singapore and Manila International Arts Festivals and in June 2008 made a highly successful debut in Beijing.
The LAGQ kicked off their 2009-10 season with a return to Wyoming’s Grand Teton Festival and then followed that up with a tour of Europe including stops in the England, Germany and Poland. They appear as a hallmark event at La Guittarra California, and undertake their first tour of "The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote - Words and Music from the Time of Cervantes.” With Firesign Theatre veteran and voiceover actor, Phil Proctor the LAGQ stops at Northwestern University in Chicago,IL, The Modlin Center in Richmond,VA, and the Tisch Center at the 92nd Street Y in New York; plans for additional performances in the US and Europe are underway for 2010 and beyond. Solo concerts and residencies take the LAGQ to venues throughout Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Puerto Rico, as well as on several tours of Europe. A highlight of Spring 2010 will be the Telarc release of their first recording of concertos by Rodrigo and Assad. The Quartet’s 2008-09 season featured two exciting additions to the repertory. The first is "Interchange for Guitar Quartet and Orchestra,” a new concerto written specifically for these four virtuosi by Brazilian composer and guitar master, Sergio Assad.
This work premiered as part of the Southwest Guitar Festival with the San Antonio Symphony and subsequent performances included the Rochester Philharmonic, and the Seattle, New Jersey, Santa Barbara and Delaware Symphonies. The work was then recorded with the Delaware Symphony and Music Director David Amado. The LAGQ’s appearance in Santa Barbara was part of the second week-long guitar celebration sponsored by the Symphony that they helped to curate. In addition to the Assad concerto, the LAGQ premiered "The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote - Words and Music from the Time of Cervantes,” in collaboration with the brilliant British actor, John Cleese. In addition to the above, the LAGQ brought multiple performances of the vibrant Rodgrigo "Concierto Andaluz”, their popular solo concerts and residencies to venues throughout the United States, Germany, Poland, Spain and England.
Past highlights have included performances of the Rodrigo "Concierto Andaluz” at the composer’s official centenary in Spain at the invitation of his daughter. Tours in support of their "Brazil” CD with vocalist Luciana Souza and as a special New Year’s Eve Celebration at the Tisch Center at the 92nd Street Y(NY). Members of the Quartet also performed and recorded two works of Osvaldo Golijov with the Atlanta Symphony in Atlanta and at the Ojai(CA) and Ravinia(IL) Festivals.
The LAGQ’s CD, "Guitar Heroes,” released on Telarc, won the group their first Grammy Award in 2005. It is a heartfelt salute to the great players who inspired the quartet, as individuals and as a group. It has received raves for its unique ability capture the feeling and fervor of diverse musical styles such as jazz, bluegrass, rock and flamenco. In November 2008, this recording joined those by artists such as the Who, Pink Floyd and Dire Straits on Sound and Visions "Top 10 Surround Discs of All Time”. Their first Telarc CD, "LAGQ – Latin,” features their popular transcription of Bizet’s Carmen, along with works from Chile, Cuba and some new original works by members of the quartet. This CD, which has received raves from listeners and critics alike, received a 2003 Grammy nomination and the Super Audio CD (SACD) version won the award for "Best Made for Surround” at the 1st Annual Surround Music Awards. The LAGQ’s release, "SPIN” (2006), shows yet again that the group is equally at home in a wide variety of musical genres and also features several commissioned works from their recent collaboration with percussionist Colin Currie. The ensemble’s current release, LAGQ-Brazil (Telarc, 2007) continues to receive raves and includes performances with singing sensation Luciana Souza. The LAGQ’s next Telarc recording [March 2010] "Interchange” features their long-awaited recording of Joaquin Rodrigo’s "Concierto Andaluz” and the premiere recording of Sergio Assad’s "Interchange” with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra. The LAGQ’s first live-concert DVD appears on the Mel Bay Artist Series.
For more information about the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, visit their website at www.lagq.com.