Born in Waipukurau, New Zealand, Gregory Squire began playing the violin at the age of 11, and at 14 became a pupil of Auckland-based teacher Heather Smith. In 1975 he was awarded an Associated Board Scholarship to the Royal College of Music, where he studied violin with Jaroslav Vanecek and viola with Roger Best. Post-graduate studies continued with Mark Lubotsky and Joseph Gingold. His Vitali Quartet was also awarded the prestigious Leverhume Award, enabling further studies with the Amadeus Quartet. In subsequent years he led a varied life as a soloist, concertmaster, and conductor. In 1998 he returned to New Zealand as a member of the first violins of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Since then Gregory Squire has become one of New Zealand’s busiest and most sought after musicians, serving many artistic roles throughout the country and abroad.
In addition to his position in the first violins of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra he regularly appears in recital and is a keen advocate of contemporary music.
“The (Lutoslawski) Partita was extraordinary… supercharged playing…. totally compelling, totally convincing.”
The Dominion Post
As Concerto Soloist
Gregory Squire has appeared as soloist with the Wellington Chamber Orchestra, The Kapiti Concert Orchestra, The Hawke’s Bay Orchestra and the Wellington Sinfonia. Concertos included those by Bach, Vivaldi, Mozart, Beethoven, and Bruch.
“This performance of the Four Seasons was stunning. Wellington Sinfonia players were led by Gregory Squire playing the brilliant solo … His playing threw caution to the winds … with as exciting, and at times frenzied, a performance, matched in warmth and spirit from the orchestra, as I have heard.”
The Dominion Post
As Period Instrument Musician
“The New Zealand Baroque Soloists, led by the experienced Gregory Squire provided consistent musical highlights, their playing was spirited, musically detailed and varied.”
Whilst in the UK Gregory became interested in period instrument performance and this became an important aspect of his professional life. As Co-Director of the Scottish Early Music Consort he grew the scope and diversity of the company, directing baroque opera and oratorios as well as performing music from the renaissance and medieval period.
In addition to his role as a conductor he performs on a variety of stringed instruments including rebec, medieval fiddle and viola d’amore alongside his baroque violins and viola.
An enthusiastic advocate of period instrument performance, Gregory founded the chamber group Scaramuccia and is Musical Director of the New Zealand Baroque Soloists. After overseeing its formation, this ensemble was immediately invited to play for NBR NZ Opera’s production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea.
His baroque chamber ensemble Scaramuccia also attracts considerable attention, touring for Chamber Music New Zealand, and recording for Radio New Zealand. Commercial CDs by Scaramuccia are available: Blockflute Blast and Italian Skirmishes.
He also performs with the period instrument ensemble The Queen’s Closet.
As Orchestral Violinist
Gregory Squire’s orchestral career began with English Northern Philharmonia (the Orchestra of Opera North) before he moved to Scotland to join the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
In 1988 he became Concertmaster of the Scottish Ballet Orchestra. With Scottish Ballet, he regularly appeared as soloist, with ballets being choreographed to concertos by Bach, Chausson (his ‘Poeme’), Bruch, and Vivaldi.
In 1991 a growing interest in period instrument performance led to work with John Eliot Gardiner’s English Baroque Soloists and the Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique. From 1992 onwards he divided his time between the Scottish Ballet Orchestra (as Concertmaster), The Scottish Early Music Consort (as Musical Director), and a number of other period instrument ensembles (as soloist and guest director).
In 1998 he returned to New Zealand as a member of the first violins of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.