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30 November 2016

Allan Zavod 1945-2016

Allan Zavod Image: Allan Zavod  

Pianist-composer Dr Allan Zavod has died peacefully at his home among family and friends on the evening of Monday 28 November 2016.

Known for his unique creative blend of improvised jazz and classical music, Zavod's orchestral works include Concerto Australiana for piano, orchestra and jazz ensemble, commissioned for the Bicentennial Australia Day Celebrations in 1988; Concerto for trumpet, jazz trio and orchestra (1997); Urban Concerto (2010) for guitar and orchestra; and Environmental Symphony (premiered in part in 2010, and in full in December 2015 by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra). He wrote scores for over major 40 films, documentaries, television and theatre.

Allan Zavod studied at the Melbourne Conservatorium (University of Melbourne), graduating in 1969. His talent for jazz piano caught the ear of Duke Ellington, who arranged for him to further his studies at Berklee College of Music in Boston - Zavod later held a post as professor of music there. He spent several decades in the US performing, recording and touring the world with artists such as Joe Cocker, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Woody Herman Orchestra, Topol, Natalie Cole, Maynard Ferguson Big Band, Cab Calloway, Herbie Hancock and, most famously, Frank Zappa. In Australia he toured with artists such as Sting, George Benson and James Morrison.

As an educator, Zavod gave lectures, masterclasses and workshops at universities in Australia and overseas. In 2009, the University of Melbourne awarded him the degree of Doctor of Music.

> To read more about Allan Zavod and his career in music, see the composer's website.

> Allan Zavod was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in 2015. Donations to assist his family are kindly accepted here.

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