From São Paulo, Brazil, young classical guitarist Plínio Fernandes takes his inspiration from a long line of greats – Antônio Carlos Jobim, Milton Nascimento, Jacob do Bandolim, Violeta Parra, Edu Lobo, Cartola and Laurindo Almeida – the guitar being so central to the Brazilian folk tradition. Adding to that cannon, his six years of studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London have opened up a whole world of Western Classical Music to his repertoire.
Recently signed to Decca Records, New York, his debut album will feature duets with Braimah Kanneh-Mason and legendary Brazilian artist María Rita. Fernandes will also reunite with long time collaborator Sheku Kanneh-Mason after Fernandes appeared on Sheku’s acclaimed 2020 album Elgar for their duet of ‘Scarborough Fair’ which has since featured on the BBC’s Imagine documentary ‘This House is a full of Music’. With a flare of youthful excitement, enchanting lyricism and dancing rhythm, Plínio’s debut album is an entrancing collection of works for solo guitar weaving together all his musical loves and telling his complex and captivating international story in sound. “I chose songs that I grew up listening to,” Fernandes explains, “and in many cases I fell in love with the guitar through them.”
Born into a family of musicians, Fernandes received his first guitar lessons from his father. At the age of 12, after winning national youth guitar competitions, he played as a guest soloist with the Campo Grande Symphony Orchestra and took private lessons in São Paulo from the renowned teacher Henrique Pinto and later, at 16, from Pinto’s student and protégé, Fabio Zanon. Fernandes then received a full scholarship to attend the International Campos do Jordão Winter Festival from 2011-2014. During that period, he gave recitals and performed in chamber concerts in some 35 cities throughout Brazil and Chile. Encouraged by his family and teachers, he made the move to London to pursue a career as a concert musician. His teachers at the Royal Academy of Music (2014-2020) included Zanon, Prof. Michael Lewin, Steve Goss, and David Russell, under a full scholarship funded by the Brazilian Ministry of Education. Fernandes is also committed to music education and was recently invited to join the Music Masters charity as an ambassador.