• Born 1976
Often appears with
Slava Grigoryan is an award-winning classical guitarist of Armenian descent. He was born in Kazakhstan in 1976, and emigrated with his violinist parents Eduard and Irina Grigoryan and his younger brother Leonard to Melbourne, Australia. Slava and Leonard (aka the Grigoryan Brothers) began their guitar studies at young ages with their father. Slava began playing professionally at 12. He furthered his classical studies through secondary school and college at Victorian Academy of the Arts, and achieved renown as the youngest performer ever to win the Tokyo International Classical Guitar Competition in 1993. As a result, he was offered a recording contract by Sony. His debut for the label, Spirit of Spain, appeared in 1995, followed by Dance of the Angel in 1998 and Another Night in London in 1999. In 2003, he moved over to ABC Classics (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) and recorded Sonatas & Fantasies, and the first of the Grigoryan Brothers albums, Play. Slava toured incessantly with his brother and as a featured soloist with orchestras as well as playing solo concerts. In 2004, the Grigoryan Brothers released the Rodrigo Guitar Concertos. Slava followed it with Afterimage, The Music of Shaun Rigney. He followed it with Continental Shift, a collaboration with singer, songwriter, and producer Al Slavik in 2005. That same year, he approached improvising jazz guitarists Wolfgang Muthspiel and Ralph Towner about a collaborative tour. Long an admirer of both men, he understood that they were both rooted in classical tradition. They presented a show that featured each member as a soloist, then in duets and finally as a trio. The group has remained a going concern. In 2006, Slava released another solo album, Shadow Dances, followed by Debussy, Mompou & De Falla: Impressions, by the Grigoryan Brothers. In 2007, Slava collaborated in the studio with Towner and Muthspiel. The resulting album, From a Dream was issued in 2008 on Which Way Music (and in 2009 re-released on Muthspiel's Material label). The same year, Slava's Baroque Guitar Concertos was released by ABC Classics. Distance, a Grigoryan Brothers recording from 2009, was the brothers' first to depart from the classical repertoire. Backed by guests on various strings, bass, and drums, the program was composed of modern jazz tunes written by, among others, Towner and Muthspiel. In 2011, Band of Brothers, a diverse recording between the Grigoryans and another set of siblings, Joseph & James Tawadros, was followed by a thematic recording, The Seasons, in 2012. That same year Towner brought Slava and Muthspiel together in a studio in Lugano, Switzerland with producer Manfred Eicher. The sessions resulted in Travel Guide, which was released by ECM in October of 2013.