Minneapolis Guitar Quartet
With imagination, artistry, and musical mastery, the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet has made its case as “one of the major guitar ensembles in the world” (Soundboard Magazine) since its formation in 1986. With their extraordinary abilities, MGQ’s virtuosic performances offer beautifully distinct voicing, interwoven clarity of lines, and laser-like purity. At the same time, with engaging stage presence and good humor, they build an intimate and comfortable rapport with their audiences “More than a guitar quartet, more than superb musicians, and more than a great chamber group,” says composer/performer Daniel Bernard Roumain. “They are ambassadors of sound, style, and substance.”
One of the very few guitar ensembles performing the majority of its repertoire from memory, the MGQ presents original works and commissions as well as its own brilliant arrangements of music by such composers as Ginastera, Piazzolla, Debussy, Rodrigo and the Finnish folk-based music of Maria Kalaniemi. Recent projects include music by jazz composer and pianist Hiromi; a thrilling and virtuosic new work based on the music of pop/rock musician Nick Drake written for the MGQ by Ian Krouse; and their own arrangement of Purple Rain by Minnesota native, Prince. These ventures represent the quartet’s intention to bring its audiences distinctive and imaginative experiences such as collaborations with flamenco dancer Sachiko “La Chayí”, Chinese pipa master Gao Hong, and new works and arrangements for guitar quartet and choir.
The MGQ has performed its many programs in recital throughout the United States, Mexico and China, and toured to festivals in Serbia and Montenegro. Performances include Princeton University, the National Arts Center (Mexico City), Round Top International Guitar Festival, and the Guitar Foundation of America Festival. Concerto appearances include the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, and the Austin and Columbus symphonies.
The guitar’s accessibility makes it a natural for the MGQ’s programs like “Guitar Talk” and its new hands-on “Guitar Ensemble Crash Course.” As regular teachers and collegiate faculty, they frequently conduct master classes and workshops. The MGQ has been heard on national radio programs and on the Albany, GSP, and innova labels.