Since their first acclaimed Australian national tour in 2002, the Grigoryan brothers performances have astounded audiences world-wide.
In this time they have released three duo albums, completed three Australian national tours and several international tours through Europe, USA, UK, Asia, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates. They have performed with symphony orchestras and at international festivals in Australia and Europe.
Although regarded as Australia’s finest classical guitar duo performing much of the standard guitar repertoire, their passion is to expand this repertoire through new arrangements, their own compositions and commissions from contemporary composers. As a result the Grigoryan brothers’ performances include forays into genres including Latin, jazz, folk & contemporary music. Fuelling this diversity is the brothers’ joy of improvisation, which, when combined with their technical virtuosity adds a new and exciting dimension to concerts.
This is evidenced not only in their own concerts, but other projects in which they are involved: Slava & Leonard are one half of ‘Band of Brothers’, along with Joseph (oud) and James (req) Tawadros. This quartet’s repertoire crosses cultural and stylistic barriers, from world music, to jazz, classical and traditional. Slava is also a member of the guitar trio MGT which includes two giants of the jazz world, Wolfgang Muthspiel & Ralph Towner, while Leonard is composer and performer in the Australian contemporary jazz ensemble FGHR.
A reflection of the respect held for Slava has led to his appointment as Artistic Director of The Adelaide International Guitar Festival for 2010 & 2012. It is this capacity to step outside the norm whilst never compromising their musical integrity, nor the integrity of the music, which has earned them a large and devoted following.
Slava Grigoryan was born in 1976 in Kazakhstan and immigrated with his family to Australia in 1981. As a major prizewinner at the Tokyo International Classical Guitar Competition, Slava was signed by the Sony Classical Label in 1995 and has since released 6 solo albums and many collaborative recordings. At the age of 18, his first tour was with guitar legends Paco Peña and Leo Kottke. Slava Grigoryan has performed as a soloist at international festivals such as Brighton, City of London, Harrogate, Newbury, Salisbury, and Chelsea Arts Festivals in the UK, the Dresden Musikfestpiel, the Guitar Festival of Great Britain, the Darwin International Guitar Festival, the GFA Festival in La Jolla, California, the Wirral International Guitar Festival, the Al Bustan Festival in Beirut, the Hong Kong Arts Festival, the New Zealand Arts Festival, the Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth International Arts Festivals and WOMAD festivals in the UK, USA, Australia and South Africa.
He has appeared with many of the world's leading orchestras, including the London Philharmonic, BBC Concert Orchestra, the Northern Sinfonia, The Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Israel Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Radio Orchestra, the Klagenfurt Symphony Orchestra in Austria, the Halle Orchestra, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the New Zealand Symphony, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and all of the Australian Symphony Orchestras. He has also performed with many string quartets and chamber ensembles including the Goldner, Flinders and Australian String Quartets in Australia, and the Endellion, Skampa, and Chillingirian quartets in the UK, and the Southern Cross Soloists. He was a founding member of Saffire - The Australian Guitar Quartet (featuring Karin Schaupp, Gareth Koch and Leonard Grigoryan) with whom he toured Europe, North America and Australia.
In 2005, he toured Australia with American great, Ralph Towner, and legendary jazz guitarist from Austria, Wolfgang Muthspiel. The first recording of this trio, known as MGT, was released in 2008. His debut classical album for ABC Classics, Sonatas and Fantasies, was released in March 2002 and was awarded Best Classical Album at the 2002 ARIA Awards. 2003 saw the release of two new albums on the ABC Classics label, Play (with Leonard Grigoryan) and Saffire (The Australian Guitar Quartet), which went on to win the 2003 Best Classical Album ARIA. Since then he has recorded a further two albums with Saffire, an album of music by Australian composer Shaun Rigney, a recording of the Rodrigo Concertos with his brother Leonard and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, an album of music composed by Nigel Westlake entitled Shadowdances, and an album of baroque guitar concertos with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra under Benjamin Northey.
The collaboration with brother Leonard Grigoryan is developing as his most significant one. They have now released their fourth duo recording, Distance, and have performed together in the UK, USA, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, Estonia, Croatia, Hungary, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Africa and the UAE as well as playing regular tours of Australia. Slava Grigoryan was appointed as Artistic Director of the Adelaide International Guitar Festival for 2010 and 2012.
Leonard Grigoryan was born in 1985. Four years later, he was studying the guitar with his father. His elder brother Slava had already forged a career in music when Leonard was growing up; the nine-year gap was an asset in that they never competed against each other but matured along their own paths. However, it was inevitable that once Slava returned to Australia – after several years working overseas - that the two would perform together.
In 2001, Leonard was the only guest artist on Slava's ARIA award-winning album, Sonatas and Fantasies. The following year they released their first duo album Play, which was also nominated for an ARIA.
Leonard In 2005, the brothers released their second album Rodrigo Concertos on ABC Classics. Two years later, they recorded their third album Impressions - which featured the music of Debussy, de Falla and Mompou. In 2009, the brothers recorded Distance on the Which Way Music label; this album was also nominated for an ARIA award and, the following year, was released in Europe with Material Records.
Leonard has dedicated himself to both classical and jazz genres and is an active arranger and composer. In 2005, he joined quite possibly Australia's first, and only, classical guitar supergroup - the ARIA award-winning Saffire, a quartet in which his brother also played.
He regularly tours nationally for Musica Viva and has performed in Africa, Europe, the United States, Russia and Asia. In March 2006, Leonard made his debut performance, with Slava, at one of the world’s pre-eminent concert recital venues - Wigmore Hall, in London.
Leonard also performs and composes for the groundbreaking contemporary jazz ensemble FGHR, which has released two albums - Stationary and Going Home.