Aquarelle Guitar Quartet
One of the world’s leading guitar quartets, the AGQ is known for its extraordinary performances and expansive repertoire. Formed at the Royal Northern College of Music (in 1999), under the guidance of Craig Ogden and Gordon Crosskey, the quartet studied with renowned guitarists Sérgio Assad, Oscar Ghiglia and Scott Tennant.
The Quartet has performed in major concert halls throughout the UK and Europe, and made its debut in Asia in 2014 with concerts in Seoul. Presenting music from around the globe, the Quartet features works by Gismonti, Mussorgsky, Rossini, and film music composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, and performs the work of many established international composers.
The group commissioned Brasilian composer Clarice Assad to write a piece for their debut Chandos CD in 2009 and ‘Danças Nativas’ was nominated for a Latin Grammy. The relationship continues with an eclectic programme featuring voice and piano, and a new CD this year.
Aquarelle is signed to Chandos Records, with all five albums receiving enthusiastic reviews. The ensemble embraces every opportunity to be involved in education work, and will give a masterclass as part of their festival appearance.
If one guitar quartet can give a traditional string quartet a run for its money in terms of abundant technique and breath-taking artistry, it is the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet - International Record Review
With outstanding playing and infectious spirit, this is no mere niche guitar CD, but a luscious and lively general-appeal winner - BBC Music Magazine
This British ensemble seems incapable of playing with less than a glorious range of sound… This is superb playing, and the music is ravishing - American Record Guide Aquarelle Guitar Quartet
The Dionys Ensemble
A Love child of contemporary jazz, Indian classical music, Irish traditional music and 80’s pop, Belfast-based Dionys Ensemble have been on the rise since 2018. Their debut EP ‘Orchard’ was released in May 2019 and demonstrates their ability to fuse a diverse range of styles, including some unlikely arrangements (e.g. Kate Bush’s Cloudbusting). Bolstered by instrumental virtuosity and a spirit of improvisation, the ensemble is more than capable of taking you on that ever-needed, musical journey.
Members: Matt Dowie: Electric Guitar, Niall Lynch: Violin and Viola, Gary Lutton: Acoustic Guitar, Michael Currie: Upright and Electric Bass, Conor McAuley: Kit and Tabla Dionys Ensemble
The Classical Guitar Society of Northern Ireland
CGSNI aims to promote locally the classical guitar and its music. The Society meets once a month in the Ulster College of Music and is open to players of all ages and abilities as well as those who simply have an interest in the classical guitar.
The Society meetings provide an opportunity for amateur players to perform for each other in a supportive environment, and experienced players are on hand to offer advice and encouragement. Classical Guitar Society of Northern Ireland
Queen’s Hall, Newtownards
£12, includes a glass of wine/soft drink