Formed spontaneously in 2002 for a large outdoor concert set on Sydney Harbour, Saffire comprises four of Australia's top classical guitarists - Karin Schaupp, Slava Grigoryan, Gareth Koch and Leonard Grigoryan. Rarely do soloists come together to form a permanent ensemble. In the case of Saffire, perhaps this is the secret to their incredible success - four star soloists making time in their solo touring schedules and leaving their egos at stage door to share a passionate, innovative and irresistibly joyful musical exchange. Not surprisingly, Saffire has gone from strength to strength since the group's inception, having become immediately established as Australia's highest-selling classical ensemble and charting new territory on the guitar.
Saffire's debut self-titled album was released in 2003 and soared to Number One on the Australian Classical Music Charts within a few days of its release. An ARIA (Australian Music Industry Award for Best Classical Album soon followed, along with sell-out concerts around the country. Saffire's most recent release, Nostalgica, has also proven to be a great success, featuring works by Bartok, Westlake, Whelan, Deep Purple and others.
Saffire have inspired a number of Australia's leading composers to write especially for the group - among them Nigel Westlake, Richard Charlton, Elena Kats-Chernin and others. Having moved beyond the boundaries of a standard guitar ensemble, Saffire includes three standards, an eight-string, a dobro, a steel-string, a baritone, an octave and a flamenco guitar in their instrumentarium.
With as many as ten guitars on stage, the guitarists switch between instruments in between works and sometimes even within works creating a high energy performance with a wide sound-spectrum, showcasing the virtuosity and broad range of skills these four have to offer.
Saffire's programming is innovative, varied and "boundary-less" as one reviewer described it. Seamlessly, they bring together instruments from different traditions of music; from classical and world music to folk and rock. New works have been commissioned and arranged by Saffire for this unique combination of instruments, including most recently, Nigel Westlake's suite, Six Fish, composed for two standard guitars, dobro and steel string guitar.
Saffire will be appearing at the Nambour Civic Centre on Sunday 16th July at 3pm. Tickets are $35 for Adults and $30 for Concessions. Bookings can be made on 5475 7777.