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Dublin Guitar Quartet Will Present Contemporary Classical Works at Weis Center

The Weis Center for the Performing Arts will welcome the Dublin Guitar Quartet (DGQ) on Friday, October 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Weis Center.

DGQ is: Brian Bolger, Pat Brunnock, Chien Buggle and Tomas O’Durcain.

The performance is sponsored, in part, by the Centre Daily Times.

Described as a “quartet with a difference” by the Irish Times, the Dublin Guitar Quartet is the first classical guitar quartet entirely devoted to new music. Since its formation at the Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama, the quartet has worked to expand the limited repertoire by commissioning new works and adapting modern masterpieces from outside of the guitar repertoire.

With the help of eight- and eleven-string guitars, the quartet has created an original catalog of arrangements by composers such as Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Arvo Pärt, György Ligeti and many more.

At the Weis Center, they will present:

  • Bryce Dessner: Aheym
  • Wojciech Kilar: Orawa
  • Philip Glass: Piano Etudes 2, 9,16 & 20
  • Rachel Grimes: Book of Leaves
  • Marc Mellits: Titan (select movements)
  • Arvo Pärt: “Summa”
  • Philip Glass: String Quartet No. 3 Mishima

Dublin Guitar Quartet’s international touring is supported by Culture Ireland.


Working as both a composer of new classical music and a founding member of rock band The National Bryce Dessner is one of those rare artists that has won Grammy awards for recordings in both rock and classical genres. He has been commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Eighth Blackbird and So Percussion to name a few. He has also composed music for film with Alejandro Gonzsález Iñárritu’s The Revenant as a recent example.

          Aheym was originally written for the Kronos Quartet and was released on Epitaph records in 2013. Dessner’s background as a rock guitarist is obvious in the jagged syncopated chords and aggressive arpeggios that characterise much of Aheym. It is these characteristics that lead Dublin Guitar Quartet to make their transcription for guitar ensemble.

Wojciech Kilar has written extensively for orchestra and chamber ensemble but he is known internationally as a composer of music for film working with Roman Polanski on The Pianist and The Ninth Gate and with Francis Ford Coppola on Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Philip Glass is considered one of the most influential composers of the late 20th-century. As he established himself Glass’s approach of austere and repetitive music was radical relative to the heavy avant garde nature of the majority of ‘serious’ classical music during the 60’s and 70’s. This earned  him the label ‘minimalist’. Glass has distanced himself from this label, describing himself instead as a composer of “music with repetitive structures”.

Dublin Guitar Quartet continue their exploration of the work of  Philip Glass with four new transcriptions from his set of twenty piano etudes. Glass’ work has always featured strongly In the repertoire of DGQ and his work is an important element in the development of the group. In 2014 Philip Glass’ own record label Orange Mountain Music released Dublin Guitar Quartet performs Philip Glass which comprised their transcriptions of string quartets 2,3,4 and 5.

Rachel Grimes is a Kentucky-based composer who came the attention of the Dublin Guitar Quartet as far back as 2001 while Grimes was a member of the ‘post-rock’ instrumental group Rachels. Rachels are no longer in operation but Grimes is busy as a composer with her ‘folk opera’ The Way Forth premiering at the Big Ears Festival, Knoxville, Tennessee in 2019.

          These selected movements of Book of Leaves are transcribed for guitar quartet from the solo piano work released in 2009.

Chicago based composer Marc Mellits has been commissioned by groups such as the Kronos Quartet, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Bang On A Can All-Stars, Eliot Fisk, Third Coast Percussion, New Music Detroit, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, and his music has been toured, and/or recorded by members of the Detroit Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Brooklyn Philharmonic and Eighth Blackbird to name a few. Mellits worked as an assistant to composer Steve Reich and is credited with creating the first working score of Reich’s Music For Eighteen Musicians.                              

Titan was originally written for string quartet and bass clarinet in 2018. This is DGQ’s second collaboration with Mellits. Ninkasi for guitar quartet was commissioned for Dublin Guitar Quartet by the Syracuse Friends of Chamber music and was premiered during a DGQ tour in Syracuse in 2015.

Summa is perhaps Estonian composer Arvo Pärt’s most well-know work. It is a perfect example of his trademark technique of static tonic-chord (Do-Mi-So) arpeggios against scale movement which he calls Tinntinnabuli. Dublin Guitar Quartet received guidance from the composer during the creation of their transcription of this choral work and it was subsequently published by the composer’s publisher Universal Edition.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors 62+ and subscribers, $15 for youth 18 and under, $15 for Bucknell employees and retirees (limit 2), free for Bucknell students (limit 1) and $15 for non-Bucknell students (limit 2).

Tickets can be reserved by calling 570-577-1000 or online at

Tickets are also available in person from several locations including the Weis Center lobby (weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and the CAP Center Box Office, located on the ground floor of the Elaine Langone Center (weekdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

For more information about this event, contact Lisa Leighton, marketing and outreach director, at 570-577-3727 or by e-mail at

For more information about the Weis Center for the Performing Arts, go to or search for the Weis Center on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

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