Formed in 2005, the Melbourne Guitar Quartet (MGQ) is a vibrant guitar based ensemble dedicated to the development of chamber music repertoire for the instrument. Utilising the unique concept of the Guitar Family of instruments (classical bass guitar, baritone guitar, standard guitar, treble guitar and octave guitar), the award-winning MGQ are continuously cultivating groundbreaking arrangements of major works for this idiom. MGQ exhibit the broader timbral spectrum of the instruments through use of the Guitar Family, while at times incorporating percussion instruments into their arrangements. Embodying a dynamic and theatrical on-stage musical persona, MGQ is one of only two quartets in Australia pursuing the genre seriously, aiming to welcome audiences who are curious about hearing new music and established favourites through the rich and beautiful sound of the guitar quartet.
In 2008 MGQ released their debut CD Four Elements to critical acclaim.
“…one of the best recordings of my music.” - Robert Davidson (Leading Australian Composer)
“ I rediscovered my music…under your fingers ” - Francis Kleynjans (World-Renowned Guitar Figure/Composer)
In 2010 MGQ released their second studio album, Toccata, launched at the 2010 Adelaide International Guitar Festival to a sold out audience, the quartet’s dynamic and trailblazing arrangements were received to high acclaim once again.
“ Melbourne Guitar Quartet gives a fresh interpretation (of Omphalo Centric Lecture), rhythmic vitality and a groove that would put many percussion ensembles to shame.” – Nigel Westlake (Preeminent Australian Composer)
“ The Melbourne Guitar Quartet are a brilliant addition to Australia’s musical landscape. Their combination of innovative arrangements and superb ensemble playing is a joy to listen to. This is exactly what the classical guitar world needs.” – Slava Grigoryan (Famed Classical Guitar Virtuoso and Director of the Adelaide International Guitar Festival)
After the success of their album Toccata in 2010, MGQ spent several years rehearsing and developing new arrangements before recording their 2014 CD, In Colour. The group’s most thematic album to date, MGQ’s new look at Spanish and Impressionistic repertoire was once again greeted with high praise. As part of the Local Heroes concert series, the quartet launched their album at the Melbourne Recital Centre in March 2014, since then MGQ performed to a sold out audience at the Melbourne Recital Centre in their ‘Baroque Re-Worked’ concert, featuring collaboration with piano and didgeridoo in J.S Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1052.
MGQ’s 2015 concert series at the Melbourne Recital Centre was also met with high praise, once again collaborating to premiere an arrangement of Mozart’s Quintet for Piano & Winds in E flat K. 452 and later to be awarded the Contemporary Masters Award for the performance of News from Nowhere by Australian guitarist/composer, Phillip Houghton.
Guitar performance is set to transform once again in 2016 with MGQ at the helm as they embark upon cultivating new works and arrangements for their unique idiom, the Guitar Family.
The Melbourne Guitar Quartet are endorsed by Hannabach strings, we wish to acknowledge the support of Hannabach Gmbh and Payton’s Music.