``Four saxophonists who rock the house ``
“Hamburg. 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 (....)``
Hamburger Abendblatt (Verena Fischer-Zernin)
The four musicians Blaž Kemperle, Hayrapet Arakelyan, Alan Lužar and Guerino Bellarosa met in Cologne where they founded the SIGNUM saxophone quartet in 2006. The saxophonists have studied in Cologne, Vienna and Amsterdam; they have been influenced and inspired by the Quatuor Ébène, Artemis Quartet and Gabor Takács-Nagy.
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.
The season 2016/17 will take the SIGNUMs to Elbphilharmonie Hamburg, Grand Philharmonic Hall St Petersburg, BASF, Warsaw Philharmonie, Concertgebouw Bruges, Paul Klee Zentrum Bern, Musikfest Bremen, Villa Musica and many more; they have been invited back to Italy, Bulgaria, Austria and many German cities, and for a further tour of South Korea.
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 programmes; 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.
SIGNUM goes BACH in a very unusual way: with the program „Bach Beyond“ enthusiastically celebrated at Thüringer Bachwochen Festival; at Köthener Bach Festival (The Art of Fugue by Folkert Uhde). With the Frauenkirche Dresden, SIGNUM look forward to performing in this very special place.
SIGNUM & Orchestra In the 2016/17 season a long-awaited dream will be realized – SIGNUM will perform Philip Glass’s Concerto for Orchestra and Saxophone Quartet in Genoa, Cagliari, Verona, Vilnius, Klaipeda, Sofia and Cologne.
„Far Lovers“ is a project with SIGNUM & piano, performed with the multiple winners Michail Lifits (Busoni 1° Prize) at the Beethoven Festival in Bonn and at the Tyrolean Festival Erl; and with Julien Quentin at Schloss Elmau. In this program SIGNUM present a very individual story collection (Scheherazade, Pictures at an Exhibition, Rhapsody in Blue).
Summer and „Shadow Dance“ In 2017 SIGNUM will embark on a summer tour together with the Lithuanian shooting star Martynas on the accordion, and will perform at major German festivals, including the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, MDR Musik Summer, Maulbronn, Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern and Bad Kissingen Festival. Besides „Shadow Dance“, the Four Seasons by Vivaldi / Piazzolla are on the program. SIGNUM & Martynas – an explosive, summery mix of youth and virtuosity!
Tango – dance of the soul Tango conveys the subtle communication between two dancers, who meet with respect and emotional openness to experience and express the particular charm of this dance – as if making music together. After having performed with cellists Mario Brunello, Matthias Bartolomey, Jan Vogler and Alexander Hülshoff, SIGNUM will enjoy making music with the Rising Star Harriet Krijgh on cello, at Rheingau Music Festival and BASF. „BACHianas” is an exciting program forming an arc from Bach to Piazzolla.
Education With its own educational concert for elementary school students, SIGNUM will be guests on two occasions at the Cologne Philharmonie in 2016/17. In addition they are proud to present their own family show „Stand by me – the SIGNUM sound experience“ (8+) at MiTo Festival in Milan and Turin and in Cologne and Brixen. „Stand by me“ is a visual concert about sound, imagination and friendship, produced by the Philharmonie Luxembourg and Kölner Philharmonie (Director: Letizia Renzini).
The first CD of the quartet „DEBUT“ was launched in 2011 including works by Grieg, Ravel, Bartók and Shostakovich; a second CD „BALKANICATION“ was released in December 2014. A new CD release is scheduled for 2016/17.
SIGNUM is a D’ADDARIO Artist.