Zachary Dunbar trained as a concert pianist in the US, completing his undergraduate studies at Rollins College, taking masterclasses with Guido Agosti, Claude Frank, Rudolf Furkusny and Gary Graffman. He furthered his studies at Yale University School of Music as a scholarship student of Claude Frank, Peter Frankl, and Daniel Pollack. In his first year, he received the Best Piano Recital Prize, and was also a member of the honours piano trio coached by the Tokyo String Quartet. He subsequently won a Fulbright grant to study at the Royal College of Music (London) with noted Beethoven specialist Kendall Taylor. He then took up the role of artist-in-residence at Haileybury College.
Following his studies, Zachary pursued a concert career mostly as a recitalist and chamber musician across Europe and the United States before branching into theatre and academia. As composer/writer, he has produced For the Record, a songbook of 25 stand-along songs and works from original musicals, a song cycle, Dog Day Afternoon (songs devised through actor-training approaches), and three musicals, Texas Eddy, The Year of the Pig (with Chinese Opera), and The Year of the Pig (Edinburgh; RCSSD).