Signum saxophone quartet

Blaž Kemperle soprano saxophone

Hayrapet Arakelyan alto saxophone

Alan Lužar tenor saxophone

Guerino Bellarosa baritone saxophone

“Four saxophonists who shake things up”.

“Are they a reincarnation of the Beatles? Four musicians, four young men with the image of “naughty boys” and all the self-assurance of those famous four “mop tops”, take to the stage, start playing and set the place alight. There are young girls in the audience – a big screen as if for a pop group (…) A mixture 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 looks at whom and who steps forward as lead vocalist is completely instinctive and spontaneous, in tune with musical logic. Their astonishing perfection becomes almost self-evident (…)”. Hamburger Abendblatt (Verena Fischer-Zernin)

The four musicians Blaž Kemperle, Jacopo Taddei, Alan Lužar and Guerino Bellarosa met in Cologne, where they founded the SIGNUM saxophone quartet in 2006. The saxophonists studied in Cologne, Vienna and Paris, and were influenced and inspired by the Quatuor Ébène, the Quatuor Artemis and Gabor Takács-Nágy.

Winners of international competitions including Lugano and Berlin, SIGNUM now performs in concert halls and festivals all over Europe. In 2013, they made their debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall. The 2014/2015 Rising Stars prize awarded by the European Concert Hall Organization (ECHO) was a very special and remarkable achievement, taking SIGNUM to such prestigious concert halls as London’s Barbican Centre, Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, Brussels’ Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lisbon’s Gulbenkian, Baden-Baden’s Festspielhaus, Luxembourg’s Philharmonie, Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie, Dortmund’s Konzerthaus, Cologne’s Philharmonie, among others. SIGNUM was recently awarded the prize for “best ensemble” by the prestigious German festival Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern.

SIGNUM is constantly on the lookout for new ideas, fresh challenges and intriguing artistic encounters. Their sheer joy and experimental versatility are reflected in their extraordinary programs; the four young musicians can also be heard in classical quartet formations, and they continue to create exciting, never-before-seen joint arrangements with inspiring soundscapes.

SIGNUM enjoys performing with exciting chamber music partners and friends, including: Alexej Gerassimez (percussion) : Starry Night; Tanja Tetzlaff and Konstantin Manaev (cello): BACHianas; Kai Schumacher (piano and prepared piano): Goldberg Nights; and Ksenija Sidorova (accordion) in a brand-new project: Anima. After their performance at Hope@Home (Arte TV, 2020), in 2023 they’ll be happy to be back on stage with Daniel Hope. The quartet performs regularly with orchestra, which is a priority for them. SIGNUM are also very concerned about the audience of tomorrow, and have therefore designed their own educational family concert SIGNUM4kids. In November 2022, SIGNUM is particularly looking forward to its first month-long tour of Australia.

Following their first two albums, Debut (2011) and Balkanication (2014), SIGNUM present two new recordings in 2021: Starry Night (with Alexej Gerassimez) and their Deutsche Grammophon debut album ECHOES, featuring inventive arrangements by composers ranging from Dowland, Faurè and Albinoni to Peter Gregson, as well as Guillermo Lago’s “Sarajevo”, original for saxophone quartet and also including landmark pieces by Max Richter and Joep Beving. The launch was marked by a concert on the DG stage, streamed from Berlin’s Meistersaal.

SIGNUM is a Selmer Paris and D’Addario Woodwinds artist.

Photographic credits:
© Anna Tena