Blaž Kemperle: soprano saxophone
Hayrapet Arakelyan: alt saxophone
Alan Lužar: tenor saxophone
Guerino Bellarosa: baritone saxophone
«Four saxophonists who rock the house»
«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 Paris; they have been influenced and inspired by the Quatuor Ébène, Artemis Quartet and Gabor Takács-Nágy.
After years of gaining recognition by winning prizes at international competitions, including Lugano and Berlin, the real breakthrough arrived with the quartet’s dazzling debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall and acquiring the renowned ECHO-Rising Stars 2014/15 award by the European Concert Hall Organization. This incredibly special honour also marked the quartet’s definitive entry into the international top-tier classical music scene. Today the SIGNUMs are regular guests at leading concert halls and festivals around the world, where they perform in a diversity of projects and ensembles: not only as a quartet, but also with chamber music partners (major collaborations included projects with Alexej Gerassimez and Tanja Tetzlaff, Kai Schumacher, Daniel Hope and many others), with orchestra or choir, and with a unique family show they have created themselves.
The SIGNUMs are constantly searching for new ideas, groundbreaking challenges and intriguing artistic encounters. Their sheer joy and experimental versatility are reflected in their extraordinary programmes; the four young musicians continue to create exciting, never before seen joint arrangements with inspiring soundscapes. With Starry Night, the SIGNUMs, together with Alexej Gerassimez, take a step outside the comfort zone of traditional chamber music repertoire. An original work and several arrangements have been commissioned by the artists for this undertaking, throwing open the doors to an exciting range of brand new sounds and soundscapes delivered by a distinctive and unique concept in chamber music which has never been heard before: 4 saxophones and percussion.
SIGNUM has published the following recordings: Debut (2011), Balkanication (2014) and Echoes (Deutsche Grammophon, 2021), now followed by Starry Night (Berlin Classics, 2021).
Photo: Hayrapet Arakelyan