Regarded as a “wizard” of the guitar, Slava has forged a prolific reputation as a classical guitar virtuoso. Grigoryan was born in Kazakhstan and immigrated with his family to Australia in 1981. He began studying the guitar with his violinist father Edward at the age of 6. By the time he was 17 he was signed to the Sony Classical Label. His relationship with Sony Classical, ABC Classics in Australia, and now his own label Which
Way Music has led to the release of over 20 solo and collaborative albums spanning a vast range of musical genres.
At the age of 18, his first tour was with guitar legends Paco Pena and Leo Kottke. Since then he’s travelled the world as a soloist in recitals and with orchestras in Europe, Asia and North America. Appearances with orchestras have included the London Philharmonic, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Halle, the Dresden Radio Orchestra, the Israel Symphony and the Hong Kong Sinfonietta. He has performed at dozens of
national and international arts festivals and guitar festivals. He has won ARIA awards for Best Classical Album and performs regularly as a soloist with all of Australia’s symphony orchestras. He has had two critically acclaimed tours with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. Internationally, his performances have taken him to some of the worlds leading venues. From numerous appearances in London’s Wigmore Hall and Royal Festival Hall, to NYC’s Carnegie Hall, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, and Tokyo’s Sumida Triphony Hall, Grigoryan has developed a talent for bewitching his audiences.
Collaborations have played a huge part in Grigoryan’s career, most notably the guitar duo with Leonard Grigoryan. They have released three duo albums and have appeared on many others together. Their touring has seen them perform throughout Europe, America, Asia, Russia and the Middle-East. Other collaborations in the classical sphere have been with ensembles including the Goldner, Flinders and Australian String Quartets in Australia, and the Endellion, Skampa and Chillingirian quartets in Europe. He regularly performs with the Southern Cross Soloists and has worked extensively with pianist Michael Kieren-Harvey, baritone Jose Carbo and was a founding member of Saffire, the Australian guitar quartet amongst many others. He has also collaborated with numerous composers and premiered many new works, significantly with composers William Lovelady, Nigel Westlake and Shaun Rigney.
Outside the classical world Grigoryan has had long term collaborations with MGT - a guitar trio featuring jazz icons Ralph Towner and Wofgang Muthspiel, and a duo with Austrian electric bassist Al Slavik. A more recent project has been The Grigoryan and Towadros Band of Brothers, featuring brother Leonard and Joseph and James Towadros in a fusion of contemporary jazz, classical and middle-eastern music.
His appointment in 2009 as the Artistic Director of the Adelaide International Guitar Festival has been a thrilling addition to an already full musical life.