|Also known as||Saffire: The Australian Guitar Quartet|
|Origin||Sydney, New South Wales, Australia|
|Associated acts||Grigoryan Brothers|
Saffire or Saffire: The Australian Guitar Quartet were an Australian classical music group, which formed in 2002. It consisted of four guitarists Anthony Field, Slava Grigoryan, Gareth Koch and Karin Schaupp. Leonard Grigoryan, Slava's younger brother, replaced Field in 2005. The members also worked as solo performers and in other ensembles. Their debut album, Saffire: The Australian Guitar Quartet, was released in June 2003, which peaked at No. 46 on the ARIA Albums Chart and No. 1 on the related ARIA Classical Chart. At the ARIA Music Awards of 2003 it won the Best Classical Album category. They released two more albums, Nostálgica (October 2004) and Renaissance (September 2006) before disbanding in 2007.
Saffire were a four-piece guitar ensemble initially formed for a one-off classical music performance at an outdoor concert in Sydney in 2002. Founder members were Anthony Field, Slava Grigoryan, Gareth Koch and Karin Schaupp. The quartet decided to continue and recorded an album, Saffire: The Australian Guitar Quartet, together in January-February 2003 at Ghostgum Audio, which was produced at Jumpstart Productions, Brisbane by Isolde Schaupp (Karen's mother). Field, Grigoryan and Schaupp each used a classical guitar, while Koch used a flamenco guitar and an eight-string classical guitar.
In 2003 The Age's reviewer caught their first gig in Melbourne and observed that "the enjoyment these four derive from one another's company imbued the music with vitality as well as virtuosity; passion as well as precision. Their enjoyment spilled off the stage and into the audience, too, making this... an immensely satisfying and pleasurable experience."
Saffire: The Australian Guitar Quartet was released in June 2003 via Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)'s Classics record label. Neville Cohn at OzArtsReview felt "Although some of the selections on this CD are rather thin musically, they are presented with care and skill – and not a little virtuosity – and the sound engineers have done a splendid job of realistically capturing the combined sound of the four classical guitars... Of a remarkably eclectic compilation, it is Stanley Myers' instantly recognisable 'Cavatina' from the Deer Hunter that fares best, its haunting, bittersweet measures beautifully presented... There's a world premiere recording: Richard Charlton's 'Stoneworks'... [which] will be listened to with more than usual interest by musicians hoping to expand their repertoires."
Their second album, Nostálgica (October 2004), included a similarly diverse range of fare. It reached No. 5 on the ARIA Classical Chart. Göran Forsling of MusicWeb-International described their second album, "Any record covering both Bartók and Deep Purple could with some justification be labelled 'cross-over', but to me it is something else. 'Cross-over' implies that there are borders to cross, and these four eminent musicians see no borders; this is border-less music. Maybe the guitar is the instrument that lends itself most easily to building bridges between genres, styles and times, especially when played as on this disc." In 2005 Antony Field left and was replaced by Leonard Grigoryan – the younger brother of Slava. In September 2006 Saffire issued their third album, Renaissance. They toured in support of the album in October and November.
- Saffire: The Australian Guitar Quartet (30 June 2003) (ABC 476 261-1)
- Nostálgica (October 2004)
- Renaissance (11 September 2006)
- Forsling, Göran (December 2004). Rob Barnett, ed. "Nostálgica Saffire – The Australian Guitar Quartet ABC 476 261-1 [GF]: Classical CD Reviews". MusicWeb – International. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- "CD: Saffire: the Australian Guitar Quartet : Product". Australian Music Centre (AMC). Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- Houghton, Phillip (composer); Charlton, Richard (composer); Koch, Gareth (performer); Grigoryan, Slava (performer); Schaupp, Karin (performer); Field, Antony (performer); Saffire: The Australian Guitar Quartet (2003), Saffire: The Australian Guitar Quartet, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), retrieved 10 April 2017
- Saffire: the Australian Guitar Quartet (PDF) (booklet). Saffire (performer). ABC Classics. 2003. 476 701-2. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
- "Music Festival Glasperlenspiel 2005". Retrieved 11 April 2017 – via Estonian Record Productions.
- Cohn, Neville (27 April 2003). "Saffire: The Australian Guitar Quartet". OZartsreview. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
- "Week Commencing ~ 25th August 2003 ~ Issue #705" (PDF). The ARIA Report. Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) (705): 6, 17. 25 August 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 May 2009. Retrieved 22 September 2016.
- "ARIA Awards: Search results for 'Saffire'". Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Retrieved 10 April 2017.
- "Week Commencing ~ 27th December 2004 ~ Issue #774" (PDF). The ARIA Report. Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) (774): 19. 27 December 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 December 2004. Retrieved 11 April 2017.
- McDowall, Carolyn (3 December 2014). "Grigoryan Bros – Riding a Classical Guitar Rocket Heavenward". The Culture Concept Circle. Retrieved 11 April 2017.