Armin Zanner FGS SFHEA

Key details:

Vice-Principal & Director of Music
Headshot of Armin Zanner
Photo by Em Davis


Armin Zanner is Vice Principal & Director of Music at Guildhall School.

Born in Glasgow to Scottish and German parents, Armin began his performing life as a violinist. He was educated at Selwyn College, Cambridge, where he led the university orchestra and wrote his MPhil thesis on Béla Bartók, before shifting focus and moving to Guildhall School to specialise as a singer. He performed as a baritone in recital, concert and opera in the UK, Europe and North America.

Armin’s appointment as Guildhall School’s Vice Principal & Director of Music followed nine years as Head of Vocal Studies. From 2021-23 he was also Interim Director of Music. In his Vocal Department role, Armin expanded student performance opportunities, established the ‘ Six’ concert series and commissioned new music for the ‘Reflective Conservatoire’ and ‘Extraordinary Voices Festival’. He built wide-ranging performance projects into the curriculum, integrated performer health into the training of singers, strengthened the international network of visiting artists and embedded collaborative activity in the vocal programme. This led to cross-departmental initiatives within Guildhall and joint activity with partners like Barbican, Wigmore Hall and Royal Opera.

In addition to his work at Guildhall School, Armin is a trustee of NW Live Arts, a London-based charity creating performances for communities to explore social themes such as migration, climate or mental health through classical music from different global traditions. Armin has also been artistic director of the Franz-Schubert-Institut in Austria, where he remains on the artistic board, and has been on faculty at summer programmes including the Internationale Meistersinger Akademie in Germany. He has led masterclasses and workshops in the UK and internationally for institutions including the Sibelius Academy, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and Buchmann-Mehta School of Music.

Armin has served on competition juries for the Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition, Royal Philharmonic Society Awards, Korean Voice Competition and Glyndebourne. His writing has been published by Bloomsbury and in numerous UK and US magazines. Armin has been a creative director of the Innovative Conservatoire, an international professional development scheme for conservatoire teachers, and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He was conferred Fellowship of the Guildhall School in 2022.