Frédéric Zigante has become one of the major concert guitarists to emerge over the last thirty years and his international reputation rests as much on research and teaching as it does on performing and making records. Indeed, Mr. Zigante’s whole approach to his art is quite unlike what might be commonly expected of a guitarist. Mr. Zigante was born in France and grew up in Turin, in the north of Italy. He studied guitar with Alirio Diaz, Alexandre Lagoya and Ruggero Chiesa, and was awarded his diploma at the Conservatorio in Milan. He was still very young when he embarked upon a concert career which was to take him well beyond the confines of his native Italy, to Great Britain, Hungary, Greece, Spain, Germany, France, Switzerland, Japan, Holland, China, Poland, Norway, Finland and Singapore. Mr. Zigante has performed at such major classical venues as Suntory Hall in Tokyo and the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
Mr. Zigante has recorded widely, both for such labels as Frequenz, Arts, Stradivarius, Adda and Naxos and for radio broadcasting organizations such as the BBC, Radio France, Radio Suisse Romande, Rundfunk der DDR and the Rai in Italy. Both his playing and writings have won him the attention of a number of specialist publications throughout the world, (Classical Guitar in Britain, Guitar Review in the USA, Gitarre & Laute in Germany, Gendai Guitar in Japan and Il Fronimo, Seicorde and GuitArt in Italy), and he has been the subject of articles and appeared on their front covers many times.
Mr.Zigante is renowned as a specialist in the repertoire of the early nineteenth century. He has delved deep into matters of performance practice and style, which has led him to write to many studies and articles in the specialist press. His recordings of the complete works of Paganini for solo guitar, of Le Rossiniane by Mauro Giuliani, of the works for voice and guitar by Ludwig Spohr, and unpublished items by Napoleon Coste have all led to such awards as the prize of the First Italian Guitar Convention, (Primo Convegno Italiano di Chitarra) in 1996 for the best recording of the year.
Mr.Zigante is no less interested in the development of the guitar in contemporary music and has performed a number of major works for the instrument composed in the twentieth century, such as his world première of Franco Donatoni’s Marches II, Alexandre Tansman’s Passacaille, Boris Asafiev’s Concerto and Italian première of Frank Martin’s Poèmes de la mort, Hika by Leo Brouwer and Electric Counterpoint by Steve Reich. Mr.Zigante was also responsible for the rediscovery of the Concertino pour Guitare et Orchestre by Alexandre Tansman, of which he gave the world première concert performance in 1995 and subsequently produced the first recording. He has also recorded the complete works for guitar by Villa Lobos and is the first to have made a careful study of the original manuscripts in preparation for his recording. His research activities inspired Editions Max Eschig to offer him the task of a new critical edition of Villa Lobos’ complete works for the guitar. During the preparatory work on the original manuscripts Frédéric Zigante discovered a totally unknown work by the Brazilian composer: the Valse-Choro that was initially conceived for a primitive version of the Suite populaire brésilienne.
Mr.Zigante also supervises the publication of three series of scores for guitar with Edition Max Eschig/Durand in Paris (The best of, Signature, Guitar library), and the Ida Presti- Alexandre Lagoya Collection whit Berbèn.
His activities include teaching at the Milan Conservatory, together with various master classes both in Italy and around the world (Switzerland, France, Spain, China and Japan).