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Monday, September 26, 2016


(Guy Buttery is pictured performing with The Odeion String Quartet’s Samson Diamond, Sharon De Kock, Jeanne-Louise Moolman and Anmari van der Westhuizen. 
Pic by Damien Davis)

Having recently travelled around the United States, gleaning inspiring insights into their strong music culture, home-grown guitar virtuoso Guy Buttery is back in Durban and will perform his new collaboration for one night only with The Odeion String Quartet at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on October 3.

Since 2011, renowned South African guitar player Guy Buttery has been working on a project that combines his virtuosic solo guitar playing and distinctly African musical voice with contemporary compositional techniques and arrangements combined with a String Quartet.

Having worked with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra in an associated project, this collaboration sets up the perfect platform to take Buttery’s intricate guitar-based compositions out of their solo guitar environment and re-contextualizes them in a contemporary symphonic setting.

Buttery has worked closely with arranger and composer Chris Letcher. Together they collaborated with the KZN Philharmonic in a performance that was described as “a flawless synchronization of Africa and the West”. Based on this success, the team were immediately discussing how to take this project further. This unique pairing creates a world of opportunity for the strings and guitar operating as musical equals, and even at times as rivals, rather than simply as soloist and accompanying ensemble.

Buttery’s new project creates an enhanced musical interaction between contemporary ‘classical’ music and his own distinctive compositional style. Composing and arranging these two forces is what has been the driving force behind the project which ultimately brought this dynamic collaboration to life at the National Arts Festival in July 2016. Together with the work of Chris Letcher, the project brings a rich and uniquely South African score set amongst Western instrumentation. Each of the members of the quartet as well as Buttery on guitar and mbira, the African thumb piano, are treated as independent musical voices, creating unique string textures, polyphonic melodic lines and polyrhythms, rooted in Buttery’s adventurous musical style.

Based in Bloemfontein, The Odeion String Quartet is the ultimate “mini-orchestra”. Creating a myriad musical layers and colours, this collaboration stretches the possibilities of its known format and instrumentation. Performing a “best-of” of his collective works from the last 15 years along with brand new compositions unique to this project, Buttery relooks at the guitar and string quartet presentation and catapults it to new heights.

The Odeion String Quartet comprises Guy Buttery on acoustic guitar and mbira; Samson Diamon on first violin; Sharon de Kock on second violin; Jeanne Louise Moolman on viola; and Anmari van der Westhuisen on cello.

Guy Buttery and The Odeion String Quartet will perform at 19h30 on October 3 at the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre on the UKZN campus after sold-out performances at this year’s National Arts Festival.

A sneak peak of the performance can be viewed on Guy Buttery’s YouTube channel or click  or you can visit

For enquiries, contact the theatre on 031 260 2296. Tickets R120 and can be purchased at the door.