The Department of Music is thrilled to welcome the Pedro Giraudo Tango Quartet as artists in residence at UMBC on November 20th-21st. The residency will include concerts, masterclasses, and a lecture for the UMBC Community. The quartet will coach members of the orchestra and wind ensemble, and present a lecture/demonstration, in Spanish, on the evolution of tango music and its connection to Argentine identity. On Saturday, November 20th, the quartet performs a concert of original and classic tango selections, followed by an introductory Argentine Tango dance class presented by master tango dancers and teachers Aja Fenn and Masha Abapolnikova. The culmination of the residency will be a concert presented by the UMBC Symphony Orchestra with the Pedro Giraudo Tango Quartet as featured soloist, performing works by Astor Piazzolla and Pedro Giraudo juxtaposed with Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera’s “Estancia Dances” and Beethoven’s 7th Symphony.
The Latin GRAMMY Award winning Pedro Giraudo Tango Quartet represents the evolution of tango, from its roots in the traditional Orquesta típica, to tango nuevo as epitomized by Astor Piazzolla, and now to a contemporary sound that respects the past and looks to the future. Pedro Giraudo, who has become an active cultural ambassador of this beautiful and passionate music of his native Argentina, brings something new and exciting to the form while retaining all the lushness and beauty of tango. In 2018 Giraudo’s album ‘Vigor Tanguero’ won a Latin GRAMMY award for ‘Best Tango Album’.
The other members of the quartet are three of the most prominent musicians in the tango world: Nick Danielson (violin) is Assistant Concertmaster of the NYC Ballet Orchestra and enjoys a distinguished career in both the classical and tango worlds; Rodolfo Zanetti (bandoneón) is recognized as one of the most distinguished solo bandoneonists in the United States, performing at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center; Ahmed Alom (piano) has been considered a prodigy since the age of 14, winning numerous international prizes in piano competitions, and now living in New York, where he continues to garner acclaim.
Renowned tango dancers Aja Fenn and Masha Abapolnikova of Fábrica Tango present a socially distanced Argentine Tango Dance Workshop. Masha and Aja have been serving the Washington metropolitan area and the global tango community as teachers, performers and event organizers for conjointly 20 years. They have run popular milongas, brought high quality instructors to town, worked with musicians, built a non-profit, trained new teachers, appeared in documentaries and theater productions, and taught hundreds of people how to dance tango! Their student base spans the full spectrum from beginner to teachers-in-training. During their time in the non-profit sector they served populations such as veterans, seniors, kids and the LGBTQ+ community. Masha and Aja met in 2010. Their combined vision, skills and creativity have been explosive ever since.
The UMBC Symphony Orchestra performs orchestral literature from the 18th to the 21st centuries including both standard repertoire and contemporary works, from a broad range of musical styles. Membership is open to all UMBC students, faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the local community by audition, with preference given to qualified UMBC students. The UMBC Symphony Orchestra performs under the direction of Dr. Nell Flanders
This residency is made possible by the support of the Center for Innovation, Research, and Creativity in the Arts (CIRCA), the Department of Dance at UMBC, Dresher Center for the Humanities, Department of Modern Languages, Linguistics & Intercultural Communication, and the Latinx and Hispanic Faculty Association.