Returning for their second tour with Music in the Regions, Andrew Blanch and Emily Granger combine their solo expertise on guitar and harp to create a unique duo that displays the energy, versatility, and beauty of these much-loved instruments.
In an instrument pairing rarely seen together, this is at once both fresh and familiar. Side by side on stage, the instruments face each other like an enchanted reflection – with striking visual and aural similarities. In this way, the sound world created by these two plucked string instruments is not dissimilar to that of a guitar duo – the harp, with its 47 resonant strings and a collection of extended techniques, providing an expanded range of expressive possibilities to the more common two-guitar pairing.
Award winning guitarist Andrew Blanch is internationally renowned having claimed third place in the 3rd International Guitar Competition Maurizio Biasini in 2016. In 2020, Andrew released his debut album on the ABC Classic label with long-time collaborator, guitarist Ariel Nurhadi. The album was selected as Limelight Recording of the Month, Featured Album on ABC Classic, and was one of just a handful of albums nominated for the AIR Best Classical Album Award that year.
Australian-American harpist Emily Granger has firmly established herself in the Australian concert scene, recently being appointed principal harp of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra. In 2022 Emily released her solo debut album, In Transit. In Transit was selected as Featured Album on ABC Classic and 2MBS Fine Music Sydney. Enthusiastically received by reviewers, Emily’s album received more than 2.3 million streams within 12 months of release.
Having performed widely as a duo at venues such as Sydney Opera House, UKARIA, Canberra International Music Festival, and Australian Digital Concert Hall, Andrew Blanch and Emily Granger will tour Suite mágica to Nundle, Emerald Hill, Barraba, Singleton, Gloucester and Dungog this August.
Music in the Regions General Manager and Producer, Ian Whitney, said: “I’m very excited for our audiences in the North-West and Upper Hunter to experience the magic of these two brilliant and charismatic performers. Andrew and Emily were a hit on their 2022 tour with their dynamic stage presence and gorgeous repertoire.”
Emily Granger said: “Andrew and I are delighted to join forces with Music in the Regions again to bring the unique sounds of the classical harp and guitar to regional NSW! We are both passionate about getting out of the urban centres to bring Sydney Opera House standards to regional community halls.”
Andrew and I have been collaborating for over three years since meeting at The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Canada in late 2019. Since then, we’ve commissioned four new Australian works for our duo, arranged classics like Ravel and Granados, and have recently finished preparing our upcoming album. Our program is full of joy and virtuosity, and we just cannot wait to hit the road and share this music with audiences in August!”
Andrew Blanch and Emily Granger will perform Suite mágica at:
• SINGLETON: Thursday, 24 August, 7pm at Singleton Civic Centre Foyer.
• DUNGOG: Sunday, 27 August, 3pm at, and in partnership with, Royal Hotel Dungog.
For more information and to book tickets please visit www.musicintheregions.com.
Tickets are FREE for under 18s at all events, making for an excellent opportunity to get young people inspired by classical music.
ABOUT MUSIC IN THE REGIONS
Music in the Regions (MitR) is an independent touring organisation established in 2022 to connect classical musicians with regional audiences and facilitate transformative musical experiences across NSW. These musicians will perform in areas not traditionally visited, reinvigorating regional venues into concert venues, and fostering a vibrant, world-class NSW classical music industry. MitR is supported by the NSW Government via Create NSW, and through private philanthropy.
Image: Emily stands holding their harp, looking at the camera, in a yellow dress. Andrew stands slightly behind Emily on the right looking into the distance, holding their guitar in front of them, with the neck facing upwards. They stand in front of a black and white background. Photo credit: Keith Saunders