Early in his career Nicholas Zumbro triumphed with his historic premieres of Ives's Concord Sonata in many European cities, including Amsterdam, Athens, Salzburg, Munich, Milan, Genoa, Trieste and Berlin. Other critics quickly followed the Amsterdam press accolades which hailed him as “the ideal Interpreter” of this monumentally difficult and fascinating twentieth century work, adding, “A fantastic imaginative power, an unbelievable sound refinement, a formidable technique; Zumbro possesses all these qualities.” The London Times summed up the critics, writing of his "Heroic force...Superb assurance and boundless energy".
Zumbro has concertised throughout Europe, in China, Korea and the United States to critical and public success. In recent years he traveled extensively, appearing in Vienna, St. Petersburg, Paris, Mexico, Beijing, Shanghai, South Korea and Hawaii. In London he recorded the Liszt Piano Concerto in E flat with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, a best seller for MHS. In London again, Zumbro recorded the two most famous American Sonatas, those of Samuel Barber and Charles Ives, and also Granados’ great Spanish cycle, the Complete Goyescas with Falla pieces. His remarkably varied repertoire stretches from pre-Bach to the twenty-first century.
Also a noted artist-teacher, Zumbro taught on the faculties of the Juilliard School, Indiana University, the University of Hawaii, and in Greece and England, with master classes in Europe, China, Korea, Iceland and the USA,
He is now Emeritus Professor of the University of Arizona. As executive, he co-directed the Pacific Piano Symposium, directed the Festival of the Arts of this Century in Honolulu and was Associate Producer of the “Firing Line” TV show in New York. His catalogue of compositions includes Music for Euripides’ Hippolytus, the Greek opera "Kassandra", successfully premiered in Greece in 1990, the Children’s Songs and other vocal works.
Zumbro has an enviable pedigree having been trained in Paris and at the Juilliard School and by many distinguished teachers including Rosina Lhevinne, Nicolas Slonimsky, Nadia Boulanger, Max Deutsch, Yvonne LeFebure, Johana Harris, Wolfgang Rose, Adele Marcus, Lawrence Goodman, David Saperton and Josef Gingold. He won French Government Grants, a Cite des Arts Studio Grant, Juilliard scholarships, a Bach Society Fellowship, the MidSouth Competition and a Debussy Prize. Born in the USA, in Tennessee, Zumbro has won world acclaim with a combination of virtuoso performance and intellectual rigor.