Allan Zavod OAM was a composer, pianist, classic jazz fusion musician and occasional conductor who spent most of his professional career (1972-2016) in the USA. He performed with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Cab Calloway, Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman, Jean-Luc Ponty and was Frank Zappa's principal pianist for the last 8 years he was on tour. During this time, he was rated among the top 20 pianists in the USA.
Training: He graduated from The Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, University of Melbourne, in 1969. Upon moving to the USA, his talent as pianist was recognized by Duke Ellington, who arranged to him to study at the Berklee College of Music, Boston, where he later became a professor of music.
Compositions: For over 20 years, he played, toured and recorded, providing the musical scores for over 30 American and Australian films and television shows. He was commissioned by the Bicentennial Committee to compose an Australian Jazz Concerto for oboe and orchestra (2010) . The ABC has recently recorded and released his Environmental Symphony (2016), a multimedia production with synchronized visuals, narrated by Sir Richard Branson.
Awards: In 2009 the University of Melbourne awarded him the Doctor of Music Degree, for an earned doctorate in composition, being only one of five recipients for this prestigous award. This degree is awarded to scholars who have "made an international contribution to music knowledge".