Harold Gretton seeks to bring a diverse mix of masterpieces to life with an interpretive approach founded as much on raw passion as on thorough research. Not only interested in discovering new repertoire, he is equally at home rediscovering older classics. His unique vision is enriched by historical information in all of the virtuoso works he performs.
Harold began playing guitar at the age of 7. He completed his Bachelor of Music at the Australian National University (ANU) School of Music under the guidance of Timothy Kain with first-class honours in 2006. He completed a Ph.D at the ANU School of Music in 2010, and in that year began a “Cours de spécialisation” in duo with his wife Véronique van Durling at the Strasbourg conservatory, studying with the Duo Melis. They completed this in 2012 with “Mention très bien”.
Harold has won numerous international competitions, in Bratislava (2010), Vienna (2007), Cordoba (2007), Coria (2008), Transylvania (2008), Sernancelhe (2008), and Lagonegro (2006). He was awarded second prize in competitions in Tokyo (2008) and Gisborne (2005). He has won numerous first prizes in the open guitar sections of Australian national eisteddfods and competitions. He has also won numerous chamber music prizes, including in Cieux (2014), Olsztyn (2010), and Transylvania (2009), as the Duo Amythis with Véronique van Duurling.
He has been invited to perform concerts all over Europe, from Portugal and Spain to Greece and Romania. He has performed concerts in the USA, Mexico and Vietnam, and all over Australia. Harold has been invited to perform as soloist with different orchestras, including the Orquestra Filarmonia das Beiras, the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, and the ANU school of music orchestra. He has performed concertos by Rodrigo, Ponce, Brouwer, Giuliani, Vivaldi, and Dodgson, and was honoured to play the first performance of a concerto by eminent Australian composer Nigel Westlake, under the composer’s baton.
Harold composes, with an always increasing folio of works mainly for guitar in mixed chamber ensembles. His works have been performed live on Australian national radio, and have been recorded by Jelica Mijanovic, the Zoco Duo, the Brew Duo, the Duo Amythis, BANQ and dominantSEVEN.
A dedicated pedagogue, Harold has given masterclasses in numerous guitar festivals, lectured at Universities and has participated on numerous juries in international competitions. He currently teaches at the Riverina Conservatorium of Music.