Young Melbourne entrepreneurs and Melbourne Conservatorium classical guitar students Michael MacManus and Evan Hopkins banded together in late 2014 to establish the Melbourne Guitar Foundation. Their mission has been to promote and cultivate the classical guitar in Australia, with a vision of an engaged local community of guitarists contributing to a culture of learning, support and sharing of ideas. The intended result? The best musical and artistic environment in Australia.
After a highly successful international concert season in this year so far featuring international Swedish star Johannes Möller, Guitar Trek member Minh Le Hoang, European-based ensemble Duo Amythis, and a $1000 student scholarship program, the MGF is gearing up for their biggest event of the year – its own festival and competition.
Here’s a taste of what MGF has been up to so far this year:
And here’s a taste of what lies ahead:
Melbourne Guitar Quartet
Repertoire creation for this trailblazing genre is central to the Melbourne Guitar Quartet’s mission. It aims to pave the way for future generations of classical guitar quartets in Australia and internationally. Whether performing an arrangement of a modern Australian work or a re-modelling of a traditional chamber work, MGQ aims to surpass the limitations of standard guitar ensemble performance and bring the music to life in a new light with the instruments of the guitar family. Composers are often completely surprised to find out that their works translate so effectively in this idiom. On hearing Omphalo Centric Lecture for marimba quartet, Nigel Westlake writes (2010):
“I would never have imagined that Omphalo could work so well in this context, and it is testament to the MGQ’s perseverance, attention to detail and technical excellence that this performance sings with all the energy & joy that was the inspiration behind the original composition almost 30 years ago.”
Guitar performance is set to transform with MGQ at the helm. Join them on their ground – breaking journey of creating new repertoire for guitar quartet.
Ukrainian-born guitarist Alex Tsiboulski began playing guitar at age 12, shortly after moving to Australia. He is winner of seven international competitions, including the 2000 Australian Guitar Competition, 2003 Gisborne Instrumental Music Competition (New Zealand) and the 2006 Tokyo International Guitar Competition. His second solo release ‘Australian Guitar Music’ on Naxos was nominated for Best Classical Album at the 2010 ARIA awards.
He has performed widely as a soloist as well as a chamber musician. Together with tenor Robert Macfarlane, he is a part of Duo Trystero, a voice and guitar ensemble dedicated to recently composed works of literary and musical significance. This year will see a release of a new solo recording featuring striking new arrangements of three of J.S. Bach’s Cello Suites.
Victorian Guitar Orchestra
Conducted by Ben Dix (member of the Melbourne Guitar Quartet), this orchestra sees a diverse mix of guitarists, young and old, combine to create a full and lustrous sound. According to Chopin, “nothing is more beautiful than a guitar, save perhaps two”. With 18 guitarists, the dynamic and colour range of this orchestra will present a unique experience.
Melbourne Conservatorium Guitar Ensemble
Conducted by Dr Ken Murray (head of guitar at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Muisc), this ensemble sees a fusion of classical and contemporary guitar students from the MCM.
Internationally acclaimed guitarist Vladimir Gorbach has captivated audiences across Europe, Australia, the United States and his native country of Russia. He began his guitar lessons at an early age in the class of Professor Yuri Kuzin at the State Music School in Novosibirsk and later with Arkady Burkhanov at the Glinka Conservatory. He continued his studies at the Music Academy in Cologne, Germany with Roberto Aussel.
Vladimir has won international guitar competitions and prizes in Spain, Italy, Germany, Portugal, Greece and most recently at the 2011 Guitar Foundation of America earning him a full season concert tour throughout North America, including at Debut Carnegie Hall, NY; Canada, Mexico, South America, and China, in addition to a publication with Mel Bay and a recording for Naxos label distributed worldwide. He plays a 2005 Daniele Chiesa instrument fitted with Augustine Strings.
See the MGF festival on Sept 19 and 20 at Melba Hall.
Festival passes at $50 full, $40 concession, which include entry to each recital and competition viewing, or individual concerts are $30 full, $25 concession. Tickets and further information can be found via www.melbourneguitarfoundation.com.
Imageof Vladimir Gorbach, credit Dario Griffin.