Described by the Irish Times as a “quartet with a difference,” the Dublin Guitar Quartet, comprising Brian Bolger, Pat Brunnock, John O‘Shea, and Tomas O‘Durcain, is a unique classical guitar ensemble devoted to new music. The quartet performs commissions of new works and adaptations of modern masterpieces from outside the guitar repertoire.
Leo Brouwer (b. 1939)
Cuban Landscape with Rain
Philip Glass (b. 1937)
String Quartet No. 4, Buczak (Movements I and III)
Arvo Pärt (b. 1935)
Cantate Domino Canticum Novum
David Flynn (b. 1977)
The Redneck Manifesto
Soundscapes over Landscapes
Steve Reich (b. 1936)
String Quartet No. 2, Company
György Ligeti (1923–2006)
The Dublin Guitar Quartet is a one-of-a-kind classical guitar ensemble that occupies a unique space in the wider chamber music world. It is the first classical guitar quartet devoted to new music. Since its formation at the Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama, DGQ has worked to expand the limited repertoire by commissioning new works and adapting modern masterpieces from outside of the guitar repertoire. Audiences can expect an explosive, entertaining, and completely novel concert experience.
With the help of eight and eleven-string guitars the quartet has created an original catalogue of arrangements by composers such Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Arvo Pärt, and György Ligeti. DGQ's work has brought the attention of some of the world's leading composers. Recent activity includes a forthcoming release on Philip Glass's Orange Mountain Music label, and a new 25-minute commission by New York based composer Michael Gordon. The ensemble is also included on a recent recording performing Arvo Pärt 's Summa. The quartet worked with the composer in making the arrangement and received guidance during the recording process. The arrangement will be published by the composer's own publisher Universal Edition.
In 2010 the quartet were involved in a very special performance of Repentance for cello, guitar trio and double bass by celebrated Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina. The composer was present as they joined the Russian cellist Ivan Monighetti in a concert in St. Peter's Church, Drogheda. DGQ's recording of this work was released on the LCMS label in March 2012. In 2008 the quartet was honored to share the stage with legendary American composer Philip Glass in St. Patrick's Cathederal, Dundalk. After hearing the quartet's arrangements of two of his string quartets, the composer described them as "quite beautiful." In 2010 DGQ performed the entire set of Philip Glass quartets to great acclaim.
The Dublin Guitar Quartet has been successful in bringing new music to new audiences. It has played alongside rock groups such as The Redneck Manifesto (Dublin) and Final Fantasy (Canada); performing in venues such as Vicar St., Whelan's of Wexford Street, Project Arts Centre, Crawdaddy, and the Roisin Dubh in Galway. The quartet was also invited to perform at the Crash Ensemble's ten-year anniversary concert in 2010.
The DGQ are also developing the electric side of the guitar quartet repertoire with works like Nagoya Guitars and Electric Counterpoint by Steve Reich, and a forthcoming commission for electric guitar quartet by Michael Gordon.
The Dublin Guitar Quartet is supported by Music Network and the Arts Council of Ireland.