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Biography

Fabio Zanon is recognized as one the most all-embracing talents in the international guitar scene.

His command of a vast repertoire that includes all the major works written for the guitar, more than 30 concertos and the championing of new works written expressly for him have set new standards of interpretation and contributed to change the perception of the guitar in the classical music scene.

Fabio Zanon's investigative and learned approach has opened up many possibilities for the guitar repertoire, both as a solo and as a chamber instrument. In the past few years every season has seen him première solo and orchestral contemporary works (most recently Faria's Guitar Concerto no.2, Jan van der Roost's Concierto de Homenaje and Stephen Kenyon´s Guitar Concerto no.1), unearth forgotten masterpieces from the past as well as perform the standards of the repertoire for new audiences.

Recent activity in the studio include his benchmark transcriptions of Scarlatti, the 12 Studies by Francisco Mignone along with Camargo Guarnieri´s guitar works, Van der Roost´s Concerto with I Fiamminghi Chamber orchestra and the soundtracks written by Luís Bacalov for films like Les Enfants du Siècle and Woman on Top. He has also played chamber music in some unusual combinations, most frequently with the collaboration of flautist Marcelo Barboza, with whom he has recorded two CDs, and cellist Antonio Meneses (from the Trio Beaux Arts).

He has also produced a series of 26 programmes for Radio Cultura in Brazil , The Art of the Guitar, which has helped to create new audiences for his instrument. His editions of early and contemporary music, Fabio Zanon Collection, are currently being published by Mel Bay .

Although not greatly drawn to competitions, he came to international prominence in 1996 when he was the first prize winner of two of the most prestigious ones the 30 th Francisco Tarrega Prize in Spain and the 14 thGuitar Foundation of America GFA Guitar Competition in the USA in a space of a few weeks. These were followed by a succesful tour of 56 concerts in the USA and Canada and by the launching of his first three CDs.

Fabio Zanon recording of Villa-Lobos guitar works was hailed as a landmark and his debut recital CD on Naxos was chosen best CD of 98 by the guitar critic of Gramophone magazine. In the same year he played his debut with a major orchestra, when he stepped in at short notice for a performance of Piazzolla`s Concerto for Guitar and Bandoneon with the London Philharmonic. Since then he has been invited to play at venues like the Royal Festival Hall and Wigmore Hall in London , Musikhalle in Hamburg , Carnegie Recital Hall in New York , Verdi Hall in Milan and the São Paulo Hall and Rio Opera House in Brazil , and he has toured most European countries and returned regularly to North and South America . Last season brought him for the first time to Russia , with concerts at the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow and at the Philharmonie in St Petersburg , and a return to the London Philharmonic with Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez.

Fabio Zanon was born in Brazil , where he had his formal music training, first with his father and later with Antonio Guedes, Henrique Pinto and Edelton Gloeden. He gave his first concert at the age of 16 and his debut as an orchestral soloist happened two years later, but he only decided to concentrate on guitar performance after completing his education at the University of São Paulo , where he also studied composition and conducting.

By the age of 20 he had been a top prize winner at a few international competitions but still decided to carry on with his 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 concert at the Wigmore Hall in London .

Amongst the many awards Fabio Zanon has received one should mention the Moinho 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.

He is also an inspirational teacher; he has given masterclasses at many of the most prestigious institutions, including the Royal Academy and Royal College of Music in London , the Gnessin School in Moscow , University of Vienna and at several music colleges in the USA , from New York to Los Angeles

When not on tour Fabio Zanon divides his time between residences in London and São Paulo .

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