Paul Galbraith performs Friday night in his first appearance in the Grand County Concert series. He is internationally renowned as a brilliant innovator of the classical guitar. Born in Scotland and now residing in Switzerland, Galbraith has lived in Malawi, Greece, London and Brazil. He was a founding member of the Brazilian Guitar Quartet, playing with them until 2003.
At age 17, Galbraith won the Silver Medal at the Segovia International Guitar Competition. Andres Segovia, who was present, called his playing "magnificent." This award helped launch an international career including engagements with some of the finest orchestras in Britain and Europe. He toured the U.S. as soloist with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, and performed in Prague's Dvorak Hall with the National Chamber Orchestra of Chile. In the United States he has appeared as soloist with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony, Santa Rosa Symphony and ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, among others. Galbraith and the St. Petersburg String Quartet gave the World Premiere at Stanford University of a work that they co-commissioned from the acclaimed Georgian composer Zurab Nadarejshvili.
Galbraith made his New York debut at the Frick Collection, receiving a rave review in the New York Times; a subsequent New York engagement on Lincoln Center's "Great Performances" series was sold out. Recent and forthcoming North American recitals include New York, Boston, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Portland Seattle, Miami, Baltimore, Buffalo, Milwaukee, San Antonio, San Juan (Puerto Rico), and Cuernavaca (Mexico). In addition, tours of the UK, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Israel and Turkey are among Mr. Galbraith's international activities. He has performed at numerous Bach Festivals, including those of Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Denver and Carmel.
Galbraith's unique playing position was first revealed at the Edinburgh Festival in 1989. His guitar is supported by a metal endpin, similar to that of a cello, which rests on a wooden resonance box. The instrument has two extra strings, one high, one low. Both the guitar's extraordinary design and Galbraith's playing style are considered groundbreaking development in the history of the instrument, increasing its range to an unprecedented extent.