The Atlantic Guitar Quartet is a contemporary music ensemble dedicated to promoting the music of living composers. Through virtuosic performances, innovative programming, commissions, premieres and collaborations with other visual and performing artists, AGQ has broadened the repertoire for – and the definition of – the classical guitar quartet.
Each of the four members has enjoyed extensive solo performing and teaching careers. As a group, AGQ has performed as part of the Evolution Contemporary Music series and the Spring Stage Performances series, and at Salisbury University, York College of Pennsylvania, Harford Community College and the Jordan Faye Contemporary Art Gallery. They have been artists-in-residence at the Engineers Club of the Garret-Jacobs Mansion in Baltimore since 2010. In addition to their performances, the quartet has also been invited to teach master classes and workshops at Salisbury University and the Mid Atlantic Guitar Ensemble Festival.
The goals of Atlantic Guitar Quartet are shaped through their desire to help continue to establish the medium of the guitar quartet as a legitimate form of chamber ensemble. Whereas other mediums (string quartet, wind quintet, etc) have over two centuries of history to solidify its value and place in the classical music world, the history of the classical guitar quartet is only a few decades old. It has, however, grown significantly in that time and continues to grow exponentially today.
The quartet’s main goals are to continue that growth by commissioning and performing works by today’s leading and upcoming composers. Touring will help bring this still new medium to new audiences. The individual members combine to contribute over a decade of performance experience, in both solo and chamber music settings. Kevin Shannon has experience in both modern guitar as well as historical instruments, and has performed all over the U.S. in a multitude of chamber music combinations. Zoe Johnstone specializes in early childhood education and performance practice, and is a Suzuki trained instructor. Mark Edwards has won multiple national and international competitions and performs in a many different styles of music. Jonathan Zwi is a doctoral candidate under the tutelage of Manuel Barrueco, and on top of a vast performance experience, is an experienced visual artist, which he incorporates in an interdisciplinary model with the music he performs.