The acclaimed New Zealand Guitar Quartet will launch an upcoming New Zealand tour with a concert in Masterton.
Spokeswoman Diana Moir said the quartet, which comprises Jane Curry, Owen Moriarty, Tim Watanabe and Christopher Hill, would play the Aratoi Wairarapa Museum of Art and History on November 1 in the first of nine shows being staged from Kerikeri in the north to Reefton in the south.
Ms Moir said each of the musicians was a soloist in his or her own right who "have garnered acclaim on concert stages around the world and in a multitude of international guitar competitions".
"Coming together as the New Zealand Guitar Quartet, they've combined their individual skills towards creating an exciting, engaging show noted for its polished ensemble playing and diverse programming that ranges from the Renaissance to the 21st century."
Curry had performed around the world and four years ago completed a Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Arizona. Today she was head of the classical guitar department at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington and as an internationally competitive guitarist had taken second place at the Portland International Guitar Competition and California Guitar Panorama International Competition and third place in the Rantucci International Guitar Competition in New York.
Curry had received the Creative NZ Jack McGill Music Scholarship, the International Arts Foundation Scholarship, Medici Scholar Award from the University of Arizona, and a Creative NZ grant to commission composer John Psathas.
Moriarty launched his formal guitar studies in 1997 at Massey University, Ms Moir said, graduating in 2003 with a Master in Performance Music before moving stateside, where he studied towards a Graduate Certificate at the University of Southern California.
He had toured five times with Chamber Music NZ, twice as a soloist, twice as a member of Tango Virtuosi, and lastly with the Wellington Guitar Duo.
Moriarty had also performed across the globe after releasing in 2003 a self-titled debut CD through Ode Records.
Watanabe graduated in 2005 from Massey University in Wellington, studying under Matthew Marshall and Gunter Herbig. He was an active member of the Conservatorium Guitar Orchestra, playing as a soloist in the Guitar Orchestra tours around New Zealand, and also had taken part in master classes with numerous international guitarists.
Hill, originally from Hawke's Bay, had completed an honours degree in classical guitar in 2001 at Victoria University, studying under Bill Bower.
In 2004 he had travelled to Spain to study flamenco guitar and performed in Italy and Portugal. Hill had also toured on behalf of Chamber Music NZ with the Wellington Guitar Duo in 2010 and had been a member of numerous groups and ensembles, and was renowned as a creative composer and versatile studio musician with a keen interest in new music.
Tickets for the New Zealand Guitar Quartet performance at Aratoi on November 1 cost $22.50 each and are available online at dashtickets.co.nz