The Brazilian guitarist Fabio Zanon came to international prominence in 1996, when he won, within the space of a few weeks, the first prize at two of the most prestigious international guitar competitions, the 30th "Francisco Tarrega" International Competition in Spain and the 14th GFA International Competition in the USA. This unprecedented achievement was followed by successful tours of the USA and Europe and by the release of his first two discs.
In 1997 he became the first solo performer to be awarded what is the highest recognition of artistic and scientific excellence in his native Brazil, the Santista Prize for his contribution to the development of Brazilian music.
Born in 1966, he first studied music with his father, and gave his first concert at the age of 16. His debut as an orchestral soloist came two years later, playing Villa-Lobos’ Guitar Concerto in São Paulo. Nevertheless, he only decided to become a professional performer in 1987, after having completed his education at the University of São Paulo, where he also studied conducting, composition and musicology.
Between 1987 and 1990 Zanon won major prizes at international competitions in Canada, Cuba, Italy and Spain. Not entirely satisfied with his playing, he decided to limit the number of his public performances and moved to London, where he studied at the Royal Academy of Music. There he attended Julian Bream’s masterclasses, studied conducting and was twice "very highly commended" at the Julian Bream Prize. After obtaining a Masters degree from the University of London he re-emerged with a new musical approach and a formidable repertoire which includes all the most important solo and chamber pieces and more than twenty concertos.
His debut at London’s Wigmore Hall in 1995 was a great success: "No praise can be too high, I’ve heard many guitarists over the last few years, but none to rival this magnificent interpreter". (Musical Opinion).
Since then, Zanon has performed extensively in Europe, South America and the USA, always to critical acclaim. He is a leading authority on Villa-Lobos, whose complete guitar works he has recorded. He is also active as a teacher, lecturer and writer.