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Slava & Leonard, Joseph & James -- one super group, two sets of siblings, and four internationally acclaimed musicians: this brotherly collaboration displays sibling revelry at its best. And now their new album entitled Band of Brothers is set to propel the virtuoso ensemble into a new dimension.
Regarded as two of Australia's finest classical guitarists, Slava and Leonard Grigoryan join Joseph Tawadros, master of the oud, and James Tawadros, world-class percussionist specialising on the req, an Egyptian tambourine, in a ground-breaking recording of repertoire that crosses cultural and stylistic barriers… from world music, to jazz, to classical and traditional.
“In a display of improvised and organised genius...their interesting rhythms and amazing adherence to complex time signatures was awe-inspiring....The brothers were entirely symbiotic!” ABC Brisbane
With its dazzling virtuosity and staggering beauty, Band of Brothers is a rare jewel of an album which has pushed all four players to their limits. ‘We are very excited about this collaboration because what listeners to the album will experience is the full flavour of classical and world music, which at times is intertwined,” Slava Grigoryan says.
The repertoire for Band of Brothers is a mixture of duo pieces performed by the Grigoryan and Tawadros brothers, a special arrangement of Blackbird by the Beatles, and group pieces composed by Joseph Tawadros that include Lucca, Ten Ten, Freo and Sahara dispersed with a plethora of improvisation. “The exotic sounds of the Arabic oud and the req‟ add an intriguing dimension to this eclectic and fascinating program,” Slava Grigoryan says. “We look forward to sharing this unique and beautiful sound on our national concert tour that accompanies the album’s release.”
They may be two of Australian music’s most talented brothers but are also great friends. “It’s absolutely fantastic being part of Band of Brothers. We’ve known each other for years and have become really good friends,” Joseph Tawadros says. “Our friendship definitely shows in the performance and really comes to light in the group’s energy and dynamic, and that’s why we really enjoyed ourselves in the recording studio.”
All the brothers are ARIA nominees, with Slava Grigoryan having won two ARIA awards for Best Classical Album in 2002 (Sonatas and Fantasies) and 2003 (Saffire). Slava Grigoryan has appeared with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the London Philharmonic, BBC Concert Orchestra, Sydney Symphony and the Israel Symphony Orchestra. In 1998 he was named Young Australian of the Year for the Arts. Recently Slava Grigoryan was appointed Artistic Director of the Adelaide International Guitar Festival for 2010 and 2012. As a soloist Leonard Grigoryan has performed with many prestigious groups including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Queensland Symphony, and has collaborated with artists such as Jane Rutter, Darryn Farrugia, Joseph Tawadros and Jeremy Alsop. His most significant collaboration is with Slava and in 2002 they released their first duo album, Play, which was nominated for an ARIA award.