Anton Del Forno is a prominent guitar virtuoso who is tireless in his efforts to introduce listeners to his instrument's rich repertoire. Not only is Del Forno an enthusiastic and acclaimed performer of the classical and modern guitar, but he has enriched the guitar literature by his own compositions and transcriptions.
Born in New Jersey, Del Forno started with the electric guitar, initially launching a successful career as a pop musician. At the age of seventeen, however, realizing the tremendous potential of the classical guitar, he decided to switch to classical music. Del Forno studied at Mannes College of Music in New York, graduating with the highest distinction in 1972. His teachers included the esteemed Russian violinist Leonid Bolotine, and Del Forno has often emphasized the importance, for young guitarists, of working with an exceptional string player, whose principal instrument, as in Bolotine's case, is not the guitar.
Convinced that string players have a lot to learn from each other, despite, or, perhaps, because of, the fundamental differences between particular string instruments, Del Forno has observed that the art of violin fingering can shed light on fingering problems facing a guitar player. In fact, Del Forno believes that every young guitarist should study with a teacher, exemplified by Bolotine, whose knowledge of music is not limited to one instrument and one tradition. Encouraged by Bolotine, Del Forno played a guitar recital in his freshman year, making history at Mannes, being the school's first freshman guitar recitalist. When he was 24, Del Forno started a concert career under the auspices of the Sol Hurok Agency.
Also a dedicated teacher, Del Forno is the founder of the guitar department at St. John's University in New York. Interestingly, Del Forno is left-handed, but plays guitar as right-handed person. Favoring a Ramirez guitar, whose unusually large fingerboard poses special technical problems, Del Forno is passionate in his quest for a rich, resonant sound, which he believes should complement impeccable technical prowess per se. Indeed, a marriage of virtuoso technique and a rich sound is evident in his recordings, which include the acclaimed Del Forno plays Villa Lobos disc (Juston Records).
In addition to numerous works from standard guitar repertoire, including original transcriptions of works for other instruments , Del Forno has recorded an attractive selection of Christmas music (Christmas Gifts). Believing that a performer should not be limited to the concert stage, Del Forno has played extensively on radio and television programs. His stage work includes an acclaimed performance, as solo guitarist, in the Joffrey Ballet "Viva Vivaldi" production. Del Forno's compositions for guitar can be heard on his Del Forno plays Del Forno disc, which includes a variety of guitar miniatures. Among his works in progress are two concertos for guitar and orchestra.