Frédéric Zigante - Guitar -
Among the concert guitarists who have risen to international fame in the past twenty years, Frédéric Zigantehas earned a leading position, thanks to his multifaceted activities that unite research, performing, recording and teaching, far from the common places usually attributed to guitarists.
Born in France and grown up in Torino, he studied with Alirio Diaz, Alexandre Lagoya and Ruggero Chiesa, and graduated from the Conservatory "Giuseppe Verdi" of Milan. He began appearing in international concerts very early (performing in Great Britain, Hungary, Greece, Spain, Germany, France, Switzerland, Japan, Holland, Norway, China, Poland, Malaysia, Slovenia, Singapore and Italy), which took him to renowned concert halls such as the Suntory Hall in Tokyo e the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. He has flanked an intense recording career (for labels Frequenz, Arts, Stradivarius, Adda and Naxos) with radio performances for broadcasters including RAI, BBC, Radio France, RTFB Belgique, Radio Vaticana, Radio Nacional Española, Rundfunk der DDR and Radio Suisse Romande. His interpretations and researches have stimulated the interest of numerous specialised journals, including “Classical guitar” (England),“Guitar Review” (USA), “Gitarre&Laute” (Germany), “Gendai Guitar” (Japan) and “Il Fronimo” and “GuitArt” (Italia), which have devoted long articles and numerous covers to him. He is specialized in the repertoire of the early 1800s, which he interprets on a historic guitar built by Luis Panormo in London in 1831, carrying out research on practices of execution and style that have been translated into numerous studies and articles, as well as recordings: the complete works for solo guitar by Nicolò Paganini (1988), the “Rossiniane” of Mauro Giuliani (1991), the works for voice and guitar by Ludwig Spohr (with the mezzosoprano Lucia Rizzi, and of unpublished works by Napoleon Coste. For this last he received the prize of the First Italian Guitar Congress (1996) for best recording of the year.
No less vivid is his interest for developmens of the guitar in the 1900s, with the world premiere performances (Concerto for guitar and strings by Boris Asafiev; Concertino pour guitare et orchestre, Ballade, Passacaille by Alexandre Tansman) and Italian premieres (Poèmes de la mort by Martin, Hikaby Leo Brouwer, Electric conterpoint by Steve Reich). He is credited with the rediscovery of the Concertino pour guitare et orchestre di Alexandre Tansman, which he performed as a world premiere in 1995 and which he performed for the first recording ever.
He has also recorded the complete works for guitar by Villa-Lobos, carrying out for the first time a careful comparison with the composer’s manuscripts. It was precisely thanks to this research work that he was commissioned by the Éditions Max Eschig to compile a new 6-volume critical edition of the complete worksfor guitar by Villa Lobos.
During the preparatory work on the autograph sources, Zigante brought to light a previously unknown piece by Villa Lobos, the Valse-Choro conceived for an early version of the Suite populaire brésilienne.
He is the director of a series of sheet music for guitar published by the Èditions Max Eschig of Paris (Collection Frédéric Zigante) and a series of recordings for Stradivarius, both of which carry his name(the Zigante Guitar Collection, comprising 19 CDs produced since 1998). He is currently also the director of the Collection Ida Presti-Alexandre Lagoya published by Edizioni Berben.
The 11th Italian Guitar Congress in 2006 awarded him the “Chitarra d'Oro” for his music reserach. His concert performances and research are flanked by his teaching work: he held a chair in the Conservatory “G. Tartini” in Trieste per 15 anni. He currently teaches at the Conservatorio Antonio Vivaldi in Alessandria. He has also taught numerous master classes in Switzerland (the Fondation Ciem-Mozart in Lausanne), Finlandia (Accademia Sibelius in Helsinki), China (the Conservatory of Peking), Japan, Francia (Conservatoire National Superieur de Paris, Conservatoire de Rennes, Ecole Britten di Périgueux, Festival de Montélimar), Spain (Conservatory of Vigo), Norway (Accademia Grieg in Bergen) and Italy. He has been invited to be a member of the jury of important international competitions for performance such as the Certamen Internacional de Guitarra Francisco Tárrega in Benicassim (Spain), the Concorso “Michele Pittaluga” in Alessandria (in the sections of both interpretation and composition), and the international competitions in Poland (“Alexandre Tansman” in Lodtz), France(Montélimar), and Italy (Gargnano, “Mauro Giuliani” in Bari, and “Emilio Pujol” in Sassari).