Biography

Boris Gaquere, guitarist and composer from Brussels (Belgium) has performed for audiences throughout the world, and his compositions, published by Les Productions d'Oz (Canada), GSP (California, USA) and Editions Lemoine (Paris, France) are played and recorded from Canada to Japan.

He has made several recordings, including:

  • Xeque-Mate with Odair Assad joining on a few tracks.
  • Carpe Diem, a baroque album.
  • Tempo Feliz, with Brazilian percussionist Renato Martins.
  • With the quartet Caçamba (instrumental Brazilian jazz), Boris Gaquere has recorded two albums: Dito Cujo, and Batendo Cancelas.
  • Comboio, a quartet mixing classical, world and jazz influences.

He also took part on Yasuji Ohagi and Sébastien Vachez' CD.

I don't exactly remember how I decided to start playing the guitar, but when I was about 9 years old, my father suggested me and my brother, Geoffrey to learn music. Geoffrey got a clarinet and me, a classical guitar. My brother is now a comedian and director in Canada... but don't talk to him about his experience with music!

The first time I thought about being a professional musician was where I listened to Marc Ysaye radio show back in 1990. I couldn't believe what I was listening to. At the time, the only guitar recordings I had were a few Alexandre Lagoya's my dad gave me. But what felt into my ears that day was... Led Zeppelin! With the little money I had, I went to buy a few albums of them, and I kept listening to their music every day for years!... I received an electric guitar and I tried to figure out what I had to do to become a rock star... keeping learning classical guitar! Then, my second "musical shock" happened when I met the Assad Brothers in 1995. I put my Ibanez RG-750 back in its flight-case, and started to be a 'classical guitarist'!

I invite you to discover my work throughout this website, hoping you will enjoy it as much as I enjoyed to do it for several years now.

— Boris Gaquere
Brussels, Belgium - January 2008

Boris Gaquere has obtained First Prize as well as a Superior Diploma of Guitar from the Royal Music Conservatoires of Brussels then Mons (Belgium), class of Sérgio and Odair Assad. Boris followed master-classes with Leo Brouwer, Roland Dyens, David Russell, Roberto Aussel, Costas Cotsiolis and Paulo Bellinati in the course of his studies.

In 1997, together with guitarist Denis SungHô they formed the Gaquere-SungHô Duo. Very soon they were invited to play in concert cycles for young talent in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands. Together they produced their first recording in 1998 for the CHAMBER label. The CD includes Astor Piazzolla’s Tango Suite, Sérgio Assad’s Tres Cenas Brasileiras as well as Boris’ own Obrigado, a composition for guitar, published by Les Productions d'Oz. Boris is delighted to discover that Obrigado is interpreted by other musicians around the world.

Boris’ compositions are currently published by Les Productions d'Oz (Canada), GSP (California, USA) and Editions Lemoine (Paris, France).

Columbia Music Entertainment, Ltd. Japan, commissioned Boris to compose Tabi, as recorded and performed by Shin-ichi Fukuda in 2003. This gave Boris the opportunity to arrange and record several Antonio Carlos Jobim songs, for guitar and assorted ensembles, for the J-Room label, a subsidiary of Columbia Music Entertainment. Other Japanese guitarists have recorded Boris’ music: Yasuji Ohagi, for Victor Entertainment, Inc. and Tomonori Arai, for ALM Records.

Boris Gaquere pursues an international career with concerts in all major cities of Europe. He regularly performs both in North and South America as well as Taiwan and Japan. Boris regularly appears in numerous radio and television shows.

In 2001, he recorded Astor Piazzolla’s Double Concerto for Guitar and Bandonéon for the RTBF (radio and Belgian national television) accompanied by the Wallonia Chamber Orchestra.

Xeque-Mate Boris’ first solo album for VGo Recordings was recorded in San Francisco in 2003. Boris is privileged to duet with Odair Assad on the album’s title track; one of Boris’ compositions for this CD. Other material includes Sérgio Assad’s Aquarelle, Roland Dyens’ Hommage à Villa-Lobos and Sébastien Vachez’ Cavatine. Three waltzes for guitar duo written by Clarice Assad are also part of the repertoire of this CD.

Carpe Diem released with some pride in 2005, is Boris’ second album for VGo Recordings. The album focuses on music from the Baroque period, with pieces by J.S. Bach, Sylvius Leopold Weiss and others.

Tempo Feliz, an album recorded with Brazilian master percussionist Renato Martins, is the fruit of his labour which was released in the course of 2006 with Mogno Music, a Belgian jazz, roots and fusion record label.

Meanwhile, Boris Gaquere has played and recorded with Luc Pilartz's folk band Violon Populaire en Wallonie, Yasuji Ohagi and Sébastien Vachez.

In 2011, he released an album with the quartet Caçamba, a project of what could be called Brazilian instrumental jazz music, with a repertoire mainly made by compositions written by the Brazilian jazz guitarist Victor da Costa.

Two years later, Boris' new quartet Comboio recorded a very original album, as the line-up includes an accordion, bandoneon, double-bass, percussions and guitar. The tracks of this CD were arranged by the members of the band (music by Egberto Gismonti, Hermeto Pascoal, Lyle Mays, Tomás Gubitsch, Guinga, etc...).

The year 2013 was a very important year for Boris Gaquere as a composer. He was comissioned to compose a guitar concerto for the 20th anniversary of the Rencontres Guitare et Patrimoine en Ardenne (Sedan Guitar Festival, France). This work finaly became a double concerto for accordion, guitar and string orchestra. The Concerto de Sedan was premiered on June 25th by Boris (guitar), Manu Comté (accordion) and the Orchestre de l'Opéra de Reims, conducted by Rut Schereiner.

Since 2014, Boris became artistic director of the Belgian guitar festival Kaléidoscope de la Guitare, in Rixensart.

In 2015, Boris Gaquere composed Tango del Vértigo, for guitar and string quintet, commissioned by the Belgian festival Kaléidoscope de la Guitare de Rixensart. This work will be premiered by Roberto Aussel and the Saint Georges Quintet. Other works include a piece dedicated to Odair Assad and based on a theme of Radamés Gnattali, a trio for two guitars and cello and a hommage to Roland Dyens, for solo guitar.

Boris’ new project with French guitarist Gaëlle Solal, Crazy Nails!, was premiered during the 2017 Guitar Foundation of America’s convention (GFA), in Fullerton, California. This show mixes music and comedy and the duo is enjoying performing all around the world.

Boris Gaquere teaches the guitar at the Academie de Musique de Watermäel-Boitsfort and Uccle, Brussels (Belgium).