A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Garry Antonio owes his early interest in the guitar to an extended family in which music figured prominently. His first musical explorations focused on rock-and-roll and the electric guitar.
He was introduced to the classical repertoire in 1974 at the University of Manitoba. Two years later, attracted by the reputation of McGill University, he moved to Montréal, where he studied with Alvaro Pierri and received both his Bachelor and Master of Music in Performance. He later earned his Doctorate of Music in Performance at Université de Montréal, where his thesis directors were guitarist Peter McCutcheon and conductor Lorraine Vaillancourt.
A specialist in twentieth century music, Garry Antonio promotes contemporary Canadian composers, many of whom have written especially for him. He premiered Modulos III by avant-garde composer alcides lanza and recorded two works by Canadian composer Wolfgang Bottenberg, Variations for Guitar and Piano with Mariko Sato and Valse melancholique for two guitars with Roddy Elias, on the XXI-21 label.
He has appeared as a soloist in Canada and the U.S., and has been heard as a featured soloist on both Radio-Canada and the CBC. He has also performed as a chamber musician with the Canadian Guitar Quartet, tenor Guillermo Silva-Marin, actress-singer Meg Sheppard, and the Viva Voce vocal ensemble under the direction of Peter Schubert.
Garry Antonio has written solo and chamber music for guitar, as well as chamber works for other instruments. His Three Sketches for Guitar and Viola were premiered recently by Duo Alturas at the Simsbury Chamber Music Festival, near Hartford, Connecticut.
Always looking to help Montréal’s guitarists expand their musical horizons and develop their skills, he has organized concerts and workshops featuring some of the world’s best musicians—from Manuel Barrueco to Tommy Emmanuel—showcasing a wide range of musical genres. He was also a founding member and artistic director of the Montréal Guitar Society.
Garry Antonio leads a very active teaching career, coaching performance students and chamber musicians, and is frequently invited to adjudicate competitions and festivals. He is on staff at the McGill Conservatory and the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, as well as at Concordia University and the Cégep régional de Lanaudière à Joliette. Many of his students have achieved professional success as performers and as teachers at colleges and universities in Canada, the United-States and Europe.