Assad, Sérgio (Simão)
- Silvio J. dos Santos
(b Mococa, São Paulo, Brazil, Dec 26, 1952). Brazilian guitarist, arranger, and composer, active in the United States. He is internationally known as part of the Assad Duo with his brother, Odair. He received his first music lessons from his father, an amateur guitar and mandolin player; in 1969 he went on to study with guitarist Monina Távora for seven years. Later he graduated from the Escola National de Música in Rio de Janeiro with a degree in composition and conducting. The Assad Duo was a prizewinner in the 1979 Bratislava International Rostrum of Young Interpreters, a competition that launched their international career. Since then they have collaborated on several projects with Yo-Yo Ma, Gidon Kremer, and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, among others. Demonstrating impeccable technique, precise articulation of musical ideas, and cohesive ensemble, their recordings have received numerous awards, including the 2002 Latin Grammy for best tango album. As a composer, Sérgio synthesizes elements of Brazilian popular music with contemporary techniques and jazz idioms. His catalog of works includes compositions written mostly for guitar, solo or with larger ensembles, and numerous arrangements of works from various periods and styles, many of which are now part of the standard guitar repertoire. He has conducted master classes around the world and has taught at the San Francisco Conservatory since ...