Several times awarded and acknowledged as the best classic guitar duo in the world, the Sérgio & Odair Assad duo (also known as Duo Assad and The Assad Brothers) was formed by the brothers Sérgio Assad and Odair Assad at a very early age. Beginning to play the violão (acoustic guitar) at exactly the same time, they always studied with the same teachers and learned the same music and techniques and their exceptional functioning together derives of their profound understanding of each other, allied to a rare identification between brothers.
Eminent Brazilian erudite composers like Radamés Gnattali, Marlos Nobre, Edino Krieger, and Francisco Mignone have dedicated pieces to them and so did Roland Dyens, Nikita Koshkin, and Ástor Piazzolla. Their father, a mandolinist and chorão (choro genre player), initiated them in the mysteries of the violão in 1966. With all the family moving in 1969 to Rio de Janeiro, the two brothers took classical guitarist and lutenist Monina Távora (former Andrés Segovia disciple) as teacher for seven years. In 1973 they won the Brazilian Symphonic Orchestra competition for young soloists. In 1977 they recorded an LP for the first time with the Orquestra Armorial. They would record more than 21 solo albums in the duo's career and appear in important releases such as Yo Yo Ma's Soul of the Tango CD (1997). In 1979 they debuted in the U.S. Their start in Europe came with the winning of a major prize that same year at the "Rostrum of Young Interpreters" in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (with the recording of a solo album). In 1983, having established their international career solidly, they settled in that continent. Performances (some of them with orchestra) throughout Scandinavia, Australia, Finland (Turku Music Festival, 1987), Great Britain, Turkey (Istambul festival, 1987), Taiwan, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Germany, Austria, Portugal, Greece, Poland, France (Paris, 1982, Les Musiques du Monde festival), Belgium, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Holland, Hong Kong, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Canada, Israel, Japan, Argentina, and Brazil followed. The duo played with the following orchestras, among others: Orquestra Sinfônica Brasileira, Adelaide Symphonic Orchestra (Australia), Buenos Aires Symphonic Orchestra (Argentina), RAI (Italy), and Belgium National Orchestra. In 1993 and 1994 they performed at the Carnegie's Weill Recital Hall in New York. In 1995, they toured North America, performing at Toronto's Ford Centre, Phoenix, Nashville, the Wolf Trap Foundation in Vienna, Virginia, and New York City. In the next year, they played at Pasadena's Ambassador Auditorium and in San Francisco, Seattle, Miami, and New York City.
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