Sérgio and Odair Assad, Brazil: The Assads are today's preeminent guitar duo. The brothers' exceptional artistry and uncanny ensemble playing are the result of the unique closeness of their musical upbringing. In addition to setting new performance standards, the Assads have also played a major role in reviving contemporary music for guitar duo. Their virtuosity has inspired a wide range of composers to write works for them: Astor Piazzolla, Terry Riley, Radamés Gnatalli, Marlos Nobre, Nikita Koshin, Roland Dyens, Dusan Bogdanovic, Jorge Morel, Edino Kreiger and Francisco Mignone. They have also been sought after as collaborators by such artists as Gidon Kremer, Yo-Yo Ma, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg and Dawn Upshaw. The Assads began playing the guitar together at an early age and went on to study for seven years with classical guitarist and lutenist Monina Távora, a disciple of Andrés Segovia. Their international career began with a major prize at the 1979 young artists competition in Bratislava. Now based in Brussels and in Chicago (where Sérgio teaches at Roosevelt University's Chicago College of Performing Arts), they continue to perform regularly in Europe and Japan as well as in Brazil.