Winner of an ABC Limelight Award for Best Newcomer (2011), Zane Banks has been described as an ‘expert’ of the guitar (The American Record Guide), ‘a young virtuoso’ (The Australian) and ‘an outstanding young Australian artist’ (Limelight Magazine). Banks is considered one of the most versatile guitarists of his generation having performed in Europe, Asia and in his native Australia. He studied classical guitar with Gregory Pikler, Philip Houghton and Aleksandr Tsiboulsk as well as jazz guitar with Steve Brien and gained his Bachelor of Music (Performance) Honours Class 1 at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
From 2005-2009, Zane worked extensively with composer Georges Lentz as a technical assistant during the time Mr Lentz was composing Ingwe from 'Mysterium' ("Caeli entrant..." VII), a sixty minute work for unaccompanied electric guitar. Zane gave the world premiere of this composition at the Rainy Days Festival for Contemporary Art Music in Luxembourg in 2007 and has also recorded the work on the Naxos label, which was released in May 2011 to critical acclaim. The recording received a 5 star review in Limelight Magazine; “beginning with this outstanding debut…Banks gives a masterful interpretation” and Mark Coughlan of The Australian wrote “Banks’ mastery of the instrument is impressive and he plays with dramatic impact.” Zane has also edited and added technical annotations to the Ingwe score which is published by Universal Edition.
Zane is very active in the contemporary music scene in Australia, having performed at the 2010 ISCM World New Music Days (Sydney), the Melbourne International Arts Festival, the ABC’s Classic FM’s New Music Up Late program (featured artist) and on 2MBS FM. In 2011, he performed on electric guitar with Ensemble Offspring for the Australian premier of Fausto Romitelli’s Professor Bad Trip: Lesson I, II, III. In 2012 he performed on electric guitar with Orchestra Victoria and The Australian Ballet Company for the world premiere of Brett Dean’s ballet Fire Music: The Narrative of Nothing. He has also worked with early music guru Andrew Lawrence-King, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music Early Music Ensemble and both the Eminence Symphony and Ensemble as well as with legendary recording engineer, John Kurlander (The Beatles, Elton John and Michael Jackson). He is a member of the Sydney Conservatorium's Modern Music Ensemble and continues to perform with the Chronology Arts Ensemble and he is the founder and artistic director of Ensemble Ampere (Australia’s electric guitar ensemble), co writer/co-founder of Mary Bokey & The Blind Heatrs as well also being one of the founding members/composers of the avant-garde country rock band, The Vandemonians.
Zane is in the final year of his PhD at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music under the supervision of Dr Matthew Hindson.