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SIGNUM saxophone quartet: Bio

SIGNUM saxophone quartet

Blaz Kemperle soprano saxophone
Hayrapet Arakelyan alt saxophone
Alan Luzar tenor saxophone
Guerino Bellarosa baritone saxophone

«Four saxophonists who rock the house»

«Are they a reincarnation of the Beatles? Four musicians, four young guys with a "naughty boy" image and all the self-confidence of those famous four "mop tops", step out on stage, begin to play and set the place alight. There are young girls in the audience – a big screen as if for a pop group (…) A mix of masculinity and sensitivity characterizes the music of the four. Playing mostly without sheet music they are freely visible, standing in a curved formation. Who is looking at whom and who steps forward as the leading voice is completely instinctive and spontaneous, in line with the musical logic. Their stupendous perfection becomes almost a given (…)»

The four musicians Bla? Kemperle, Hayrapet Arakelyan, Alan Lu?ar and Guerino Bellarosa met in Cologne where they founded the SIGNUM saxophone quartet in 2006. The saxophonists have studied in Cologne, Vienna and Paris; they have been influenced and inspired by the Quatuor Ébène, Artemis Quartet and Gabor Takács-Nágy.

Award winners at international competitions including Lugano and Berlin, SIGNUM nowadays play in concert halls and at festivals all over Europe. In 2013 they made their debut in the Carnegie Hall NY.  A very special and remarkable achievement was the award Rising Stars 2014/2015 given by the European Concert Hall Organisation (ECHO), which took SIGNUM to such prestigious concert halls as the Barbican Centre London, Konzerthaus Vienna, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Palais des Beaux-Arts Brussels, Gulbenkian Lisbon, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Konzerthaus Dortmund, Philharmonie Cologne, amongst others. Recently SIGNUM was awarded "Best Ensemble" by prestigious German Festival Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern.

SIGNUM are constantly searching for new ideas, ground breaking challenges and intriguing artistic encounters. Their sheer joy and experimental versatility are reflected in their extraordinary programs; the four young musicians are also to be heard in classical quartet formations and they continue to create exciting, never before seen joint arrangements with inspiring soundscapes.

In the upcoming season, SIGNUM will perform various programs with exciting chamber music partners: Starry Night with Alexej Gerassimez (percussion), BACHianas with Tanja Tetzlaff or Konstantin Manaev (cello); SIGNUM & Bartolomey with Matthias Bartolomey (cello) and a new composition of Florian Willeitner, Rhapsody in Blu with Lukas Geniušas (piano), and the new and never-heard program Goldberg Nights with Kai Schumacher (piano & prepared piano). A new project with Daniel Hope (violin) will follow the performance at Hope@Home which has been streamed on Arte.tv. In 2021, they have scheduled various quartet recitals and masterclasses at international prestigious festival and concert halls in Europe and China. Furthermore, SIGNUM will continue performing with orchestra; on the program: P. Glass' Concerto for orchestra and saxophone quartet, Bob Mintzer's The Rhythm of the Americas with Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Symphony Orchestra of Münster and Duisburg Philharmonic. In autumn 2021, SIGNUM will start an exciting season in Duisburg as "Artist in Residence". The SIGNUMs also care deeply about the audience of tomorrow, and so they have devised their own educational family concert SIGNUM4kids.

Following their first two albums, Debut (2011) and Balkanication (2014), on 15th January 2021 SIGNUM will present their first Deutsche Grammophon's album ECHOES available as e-album and featuring inventive arrangements by composers from Dowland, Faurè and Albinoni to Peter Gregson, as well as Guillermo Lago's ‘Sarajevo', original for saxophone quartet and including also standout tracks by Max Richter and Joep Beving. The launch is marked by a concert on DG Stage streamed from the Berlin Meistersaal.

1 Dowland: Lachrimae Antiquae 03:48  
2 Richter: On the Nature of Daylight 06:15  
3 Glass: String Quartet No. 3  
4 Faure: Requiem, Op. 48: IV. Pie Jesu 03:26  
5 Gregson: Recomposed Bach - Cello Suite No. 4 in E Flat Major, BWV 1010: 4.2 Allemande 02:47  
6 Beving: Ab Ovo 04:06  
7 Giazotto: Adagio in G Minor 05:37  
8 Hindemith: Trauermusik: IV. Choral 01:55  
9 Vasks: Songs of Love: IV. Then Time Stopped 03:09  
10 Lago: Ciudades: Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)  
Beving: Ab Ovo (Arr. Knoth)
On the Nature of Daylight

An ensemble that attracts rave reviews and sell-out crowds at prestigious venues everywhere from Vienna to New York, the sensational SIGNUM saxophone quartet are now set to present their first Deutsche Grammophon album. Featuring inventive arrangements of music by composers from Dowland to Peter Gregson, as well as Guillermo Lago's "Sarajevo", a sax quartet original, Echoes is released as an e-album on 15 January 2021, its launch marked by a concert on DG Stage, streamed from the Berlin Meistersaal.

SIGNUM saxophone quartet's recording showcases the full potential of the saxophone – a modern instrument but one more than capable of capturing the echoes of the past. Two of its tracks, arrangements of works by the hugely successful contemporary composers Joep Beving and Max Richter, were pre-released as digital singles, complete with e-videos. "Ab Ovo" (arr. Knoth), from Beving's album Prehension, and Richter's "On the Nature of Daylight", from The Blue Notebooks, are out now.

Crossover Media Projects with: SIGNUM saxophone quartet