Sergio Assad,

guitar

Sergio is probably best known as the older sibling in the Duo Assad, described by many as the finest pairing of guitarists currently before the public. The two (Odair Assad is the other half of the team) also have appeared under the name the Assad Brothers. They have toured together, concertizing world-wide since 1969.

Sergio has given many solo concerts, often playing his own compositions. His works include many pieces for guitar or guitar ensemble; guitar with other instruments, including violin, cello, and clarinet; and large works, including the ballet Espantalho, for chamber orchestra, and Concerto Originis, for two guitars, violin, and chamber orchestra.

Born in Brazil, Sergio’s mandolin-playing father served as his children's first teacher. Sergio studied for seven years with virtuoso guitarist and Segovia student Monina Tavora. In 1969 Sergio and Odair won a prize at the Bratislava International Rostrum of Young Interpreters and earned first prize at the Brazilian Symphonic Competition in 1973. The Duo were increasingly in demand on the international scene in the 1970s, and, as their reputation grew, an impressive list of composers wrote works for them, including Terry Riley, Astor Piazzolla, Radamés Gnattali, Nikita Koshkin, Roland Dyens, and Jorge Morel. In addition, they have performed with Yo-Ya Ma, Gidon Kremer, Dawn Upshaw, and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg.

Sergio can be heard on the Naxos, EMI, Nonesuch, Sony, and Gha labels. His CD Sérgio and Odair Assad Play Piazzolla was awarded a Latin GRAMMY in 2002.

Although Sergio resides in Chicago and Paris and Odair in Brussels, the brothers continue making regular concert tours, occasionally with sister Badi, who is also a guitarist. Sergio joined the faculty at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in September 2008.