Fabio Zanon

MMus, LRAM, DipRAM, FRAM

Guitar - Visiting Professor of Guitar

Active touring concerto soloist in the USA and Canada, gives masterclasses at many prestigious universities, conservatories and festivals in North America, Europe and Brazil

Winner of the Francisco Tarrega Prize and the Guitar Foundation of America competitions

Studied at the Royal Academy of Music; now returns as a Visiting Professor

Fabio came to international prominence in 1996, when he was the first prize winner of two of the most prestigious international guitar competitions — the 30th Francisco Tarrega Prize in Spain and the 14th Guitar Foundation of America (GFA) Guitar Competition in the USA — in a space of a few weeks. These were followed by a successful tour of 56 concerts in the USA and Canada and by the launching of his first three CDs, which established his reputation as one the most all-embracing talents in the international guitar scene. His CD of Villa-Lobos’s guitar works was hailed as a reference recording and his debut recital CD on Naxos was chosen best CD of 98 by the guitar critic of Gramophone magazine. His debut with a major orchestra was in March 1998, when he stepped in at short notice for a performance of Piazzolla’s Guitar Concerto with the London Philharmonic.

He was born in Brazil, where he had his formal music training, first with his father and later with Antonio Guedes and Henrique Pinto. He gave his first concert at the age of 16, and his debut as an orchestral soloist two years later in Sao Paulo, but he only decided to concentrate on guitar performance after completing his education at the University of Sao Paulo, where he also studied composition and conducting. By the age of 20 Fabio had been a top prize winner at many international competitions but, dissatisfied with his playing, he decided to carry on with studies with Michael Lewin at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where he also attended Julian Bream's masterclasses and obtained a Masters degree from the University of London. He returned to the stage in 1995 with a successful concert at Wigmore Hall in London.

Amongst the many awards Fabio has received is the Santista Prize, the major artistic and scientific award in Brazil (which had never been awarded to an instrumental performer before), in recognition to the major role he has played in the development of Brazilian music. Past winners of this prize include architect Oscar Niemeyer and writer Jorge Amado.

His vast repertoire includes all the major pieces written for the guitar and more than 20 concertos. He is also an inspirational teacher and gives masterclasses at many prestigious universities, conservatories and festivals in North America, Europe and Brazil.

His interest in cinema has resulted in a number of successful collaborations, most notably with Oscar-winning composer Luis Bacalov's soundtracks for Les Enfants du Siecle and Women on Top.

Over recent years a busy schedule has involved him in solo and ensemble recordings, tours of the USA and Canada, a return to the Wigmore Hall, and performances in South America, the Middle East and throughout Europe, particularly in 2009–10 to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of his compatriot Villa-Lobos, as well as the release of a CD of Sonatas by Scarlatti.

 

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