2022 GUEST ARTISTS
ARTIST FACULTY IN RESIDENCE
Héctor Del Curto |
Jisoo Ok |
Pedro Giraudo |
Gustavo Casenave |
Sami Merdinian |
GUILLERMINA QUIROGA & MARIANO LOGIUDICE (Guest Artist Faculty)
Guillermina Quiroga is considered one of the best female tango dancers in the world. She has influenced the role of the woman in the tango in a way that very few women have done so.
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Her career as a tango dancer, choreographer, teacher, artist of multiple talents it placed her on the more prominent places in the tango scene.
In her dancing career, she’s been a soloist with the Julio Iglesias World Tour; she has performed along the Luis Bacalov, Mariano Mores and Color Tango orchestras; and she’s taken part of critically acclaimed shows like Tango x 2, Tango Argentino and Forever Tango on Broadway. She’s been featured in many films: “Naked Tango”, “Marie Galant”, “Assassination Tango” and “Valentina’s Tango”. She has also produced her own show: Tango, Historias Breves. Ms. Quiroga, ‘a queen of tango since the last century’ is considered by The New York Times ‘the Fonteyn of tango’. The NY based newspaper says that ‘the spell of her style begins in her stance. She has a marvelously composed persona and memorably elegant posture’. The LA Times says that Guillermina ‘is famous for fusing traditional tango steps with hyper-flexible leg extensions and athletic lifts. An engaging stage presence and a formidable talent.
She also has developed her own method in Tango Technique and focus on teaching around the world, and has been Judge many times at Preliminars and Finals of the official World Tango competition in Bs As, Argentina.
Mariano Logiudiche started to study Karate at the age of 7, and was doing it for many years; after reaching high standards (he won more than 70 competitions) and working seriously in this discipline he got the maximum prize becoming a World Champion in 1998 in Orlando, FL,USA . He graduated as a National Professor of physical education. After retiring from competitions he dedicated his life to the teaching in Physical education and Sports at high school, and became a judge in many important competitions around the world.
On the meantime he discovered Tango, and started to study very intensively this new passion. He learned from a very prominent teachers in the Tango world as Raul Bravo, Juan Pablo Barbutti, Guillermina Quiroga, Andres Cejas, Olga Besio, Demian Garcia, Julio Balmaceda, among others.
He has worked as a tango teacher in Tanzba, Buenos Aires , Escuela de Tango de Buenos Aires, Club Gricel and Salon Canning. For the last four years Mariano has been teaching and performing in Europe, Asia, and many cities in United States with Guillermina Qurioga.
He graduated from the University in Argentina as a Psychologist, with the Thesis “Tango y vejez”(Tango and elderly) which explores the psychological benefits of the tango dancing on the elder people. He received a lot of compliments and special mention from the university judges with his work, and was pleased to keep going further on that path.
This, inspires Mariano to investigate more and leads him into creating a new activity that is a mixing of tango dance and physical education; together with Guillermina they start a new discipline, the union of tango dance and psychology, as therapy for people with physical and emotional needs.
As Guillermina’s partner, Mariano has taught and performed at the Tango Festival in Napoli, Italy March 2016; International Tango Festival in Shanghai, China, July 2016; Tangofest NYC 2016, in New York, USA, June 2016; Boston Tango Festival June 2016 and 2017; ATUSA, San Francisco International Festival and Championship, USA, April 2017 ; Hudson Tango Festival, NY,USA, May 2017 and New Jersey Tango Festival, NJ,USA, May 19-2017.
FERNANDA GHI & SILVIO GRAND (Guest Artist Faculty)
Fernanda Ghi is a true legend in the world of Argentine tango. Celebrated for her elegant style, unique interpretation, creative choreography and powerful command of the stage, she has toured internationally for over two decades.
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Ghi performed in countless shows and exhibitions, and became the World Argentine Tango Champion in 1999. Ghi and and her partner were the first non-Asians ever invited to perform at the Imperial Theater in Tokyo and were the feature dancers on the PBS special ‘Tango Magic’ with Pablo Ziegler and the Orpheus Orchestra.
Ghi has performed in concert with several Symphony Orchestras (New Mexico, Long Beach, Costa Mesa) and was commissioned the creation of a tango ballet for the Tulsa Ballet Dance Company
In 2017 and 2018, Ghi served as a judge at the ‘Tango Mundial,’ the World Competition for Argentine Tango. Ghi’s new performance company creates a fusion between Argentine Tango and other art forms, such a theater, visual arts, opera and other styles of dance. Ghi is the Co-Founder of Artango Dance School, a Boston-based academy that trains amateur and professional dancers.
IGNACIO VARCHAUSKY (Guest Artist Faculty)
Ignacio Varchausky is a giant of tango’s rebirth. He is a double bass player and founder of Orquesta El Arranque, with whom he has recorded nine albums, and toured more than 200 cities in Europe, Asia and the U.S.. He has performed with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra at Lincoln Center in New York, and at the Carre Theater in Amsterdam, Orchard Hall in Tokyo, the Grieg Hall in Norway, and the Kennedy Center in Washington.
Varchausky is the founder of the non-profit organization, TangoVia Buenos Aires, with the mission to preserve, promote and develop the art of tango. A key initiative of TangoVia Buenos Aires is the Tango Digital Archive whose objective is to preserve tango’s heritage of historic audio recordings, photographs and films, sheet music and musical arrangements.
Ignacio is also the creator and artistic director of the educational program “Emilio Balcarce Tango Orchestra School.” Created in 2000, the school offers accomplished young musicians the opportunity to learn to play tango in the styles of the 40’s from the aging maestros who played in the great orchestras of that Golden Age. The Orchestra School is the subject of Caroline Neal’s documentary, Si Sos Brujo: A Tango Story to be shown on January 1st just before Tango Paradiso at Springstep in Medford.
PABLO AGRI (Guest Artist Faculty)
World–renowned violinist, Pablo Agri, has shared the stage with such legendary tango musicians as Mariano Mores, Néstor Marconi, Horacio Salgán, Julián Plaza, Susana Rinaldi, Osvaldo Berlingieri and Juan José Mosalini. He has appeared on numerous international stages as a soloist with orchestras like the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional, the Orquesta de Cámara del Mercosur, the Orquesta del Tango de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Bahía Blanca, the Sinfónica de Mar del Plata, the Orquesta Sinfónica de la Universidad de Chile, the Orquesta de Cámara Mayo, the Real Philarmonía de Galicia in Spain, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Avellaneda and Brazil's Orquesta do Estado de Mato Grosso. In 1999, his illustrious career brought him to New York City where he performed as a soloist in the Broadway hit, Tango Argentino.
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Mr. Agri's numerous achievements as a recording artist include the Premio Gardel award–nominated Agri x 2, a collaboration with his father, world class violinist, composer and musical director, Antonio Agri, the Orquesta Sinfónica de Letonia and director, Maestro Pedro I. Calderón, as well as 2002's Preparensé with the Agri–Zarate–Falasca Trio, deemed by the newspaper, Diario La Nación, as the year's Best Tango Recording. He was additionally named Best New Tango Artist at the Clarín Espectáculos awards in 2006 where he subsequently served as an honorary judge. Cigala Tango, his 2011 collaboration with Diego Cigala, earned a 2011 Latin Grammy, while his subsequent project, Desde Adentro, was named one of La Nación's five Best Albums of the Year as well as being nominated at the 2012 Gardel Awards in the Best Tango Group category. SIN RED, his 2013 live recording at the Usina de las Artes (CABA) with Juan Esteban Cuacci, was, along with their subsequent European tour, enthusiastically received in Madrid, France, Copenhagen, Malmo and Embracht. In 2014, the Buenos Aires Legislature named Mr. Agri as one of the Prominent Cultural Figures of the City of Buenos Aires for his achievements as a performer and recording artist.
Pablo Agri began his studies in Buenos Aires, Argentina at the Conservatorio Provincial Julián Aguirre under the tutelage of Maestro Bernardo Prusak. With a scholarship from Fundación Antorchas, he was further mentored by Maestro Ami Flammer at the Conservatoire Edgard Varese in France where he received the esteemed musical Premier Prix honor in July 1997.
Artistic Director & Founder
HECTOR DEL CURTO (Director and Bandoneon Faculty)
Praised by the New York Times as a
"splendid player", Grammy–Award winning Argentinean bandoneonist Héctor Del Curto's career spanning for more than twenty–five years, has encompassed traditional Tango, New Tango, Jazz, Classical and World music. He has performed with world–renowned tango
legends such as Astor Piazzolla and Osvaldo Pugliese, clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera,
saxophonist Joe Lovano, violinist Cho–Liang Lin, pianist Pablo Ziegler, as well as with Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony,
the National Symphony Orchestra (Washington D.C.), the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the the Buenos Aires Symphony Orchestra and among many others.
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Tango has been in the Del Curto family since the early
1900s. Hector's great–grandfather Luis Segundo Del Curto
was a bandoneonist, composer and band leader. His grandfather Hector Cristobal, also a bandoneon player, was Hector's first bandoneon teacher. He continued his musical studies with Oscar Bassil, who was a member of Quinteto Pirincho and Francisco Canaro's orchestra, and later with bandoneon masters Julio Pane and Nestor Marconi.
By the age of 17, Héctor had won the title "Best Bandoneon Player Under 25"
in Argentina, and was invited to join the orchestra of the
legendary Osvaldo Pugliese, the "Last Giant of Tango." Since then, he has worked with some of the most influential tango musicians such as Leopoldo Federico, Horacio Salgán, Osvaldo Ruggiero, Roberto Goyeneche, Maria Graña, Victor Lavallén, Alberto Morán, Antonio Agri, Raúl Lavié, Carlos Garcia and Fernando Suarez Paz.
In 1999, Del Curto received the Golden Note Award from the
Italian–American Network in recognition of his artistic
achievements. As conductor, he directed the spectacular show
"Forever Tango" on Broadway and founded the "Eternal Tango
Orchestra", a ten piece ensemble.
Héctor Del Curto released his second album "Eternal Piazzolla" on June
18th, 2013 with sold out concert at Le Poisson Rouge in New York
City. His first CD "Eternal Tango" was featured on Public Radio
International's "The World" and BBC News.
Curto's recordings include performances with Osvaldo Pugliese and
Astor Piazzolla on "Finally Together" (Lucho Records), Pablo
Ziegler on the albums "Asphalt" and "Quintet for the New Tango"
(BMG), "Tango Magic" (Sony Music–USA) on video and DVD and "Tango
and All That Jazz" (Kind of Blue Records), and Luis Borda
Cuarteto on "Linea de Tango" (Jazz and Fusion Records). He is also
a guest artist in recordings such as Latin music legend, Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri's Grammy Award–winning collaboration "Masterpiece", renowned mezzo-soprano, Denyce Graves' "The Lost Days" (BMG), Paquito D'Rivera's "Funk Tango", Ricardo Arjona's
"Santo Pecado" (Sony International), and Shakira's "Laundry
Executive Director & Founder JISOO OK
Cellist, Jisoo Ok is a multi–faceted musician who
has distinguished herself as an interpreter of classical, tango,
jazz and contemporary music. She has closely collaborated with
distinguished musicians such as pianist Pablo Ziegler,
bandoneonist Héctor Del Curto and clarinetist, Paquito D'Rivera
and performed with renowned jazz violinist Regina Carter, bass legend Ron Carter, gypsy
guitarist Dorado Schmitt, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, drummer Lenny White,
tango singer Sandra Luna and bandoneonist Victor Lavallén, the conductor of the Orquesta Escuela Emilio Balcarce and Forever Tango.
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Jisoo performed worldwide in venues and festivals such as Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall,
Kennedy Center, Birdland, La Jolla Music Society's SummerFest, Laguna Beach Music Festival, the Chautauqua Institute, Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, Miami International
Piano Festival, Concerti di Mezzogiorno at Spoleto Festival "Festival dei Due Mondi" in Italy, Auckland and Wellington Town Halls in New Zealand, Copa Fest in Brazil, Houston International Festival, SummerStage at Central Park among others.
Jisoo Ok's recording appearance includes two critically acclaimed albums, "Eternal Tango" and "Eternal Piazzolla", which she co–produced with her husband, Hector Del Curto and "Rojo Tango" with Erwin
Schrott released in 2011 on Sony Classical. She appears as a guest artist on "Horizon: Piano and Chamber works by Gareth Farr" with pianist Henry Wong Doe on Trust Record, on "Django Festival Allstars" with Dorado Schmitt and on "Introducing Letizia Gambi" with Lenny White, Chick Corea, Ron Carter, Gato Barbieri, Gil Goldstein, Hector Del Curto and Patrice Rushen on Jando Music.
Born in Seoul, Korea, she grew up in New Zealand. Jisoo began cello studies at the age of eleven
to escape from studying violin. She received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from The Juilliard School studying with Bonnie Hampton and Fred Sherry and she received chamber music coaching from Itzhak Perlman and Robert Mann.
Pablo Estigarribia was born in Resistencia (Chaco) in 1985. He began his career in classical music, making his career in the National Conservatory, and giving concerts both as soloist and with two symphony orchestras: the Orchestra of Congreso and the Symphony Orchestra of Chaco. In 2007, he was awarded the first prize of the Biennial Youth Competition, which organizes music festivals. He was also the winner of a scholarship to the International Festival of Inverno de Campos de Jordao, where he studied with international soloists, and maestros of the stature of Kurt Masur (London Philharmonic Orchestra, New York Philharmonic) and Glenn Dicterow (New York Philharmonic).
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The tango entered his life in 2005, when he won a grant from the Orchestra School of Tango (last group with Emilio Balcarce as director), with whom he toured Italy. In 2010 he visited a good portion of the theaters of Japan with the orchestra of Victor Lavallén, performing almost 50 concerts including at the famous Nakano Sun Plaza of Tokyo. Since then, with various companies, he has toured Europe and Russia, giving more than 90 concerts, in theaters such as the Cologne Philharmonic, the Grand Opera of Frankfurt, the Savoy Theater of Helsinki, and the Folies Bergeres of Paris among many others. In 2011 he formed the Sexteto Meridional, performing with that ensemble in various theaters of Buenos Aires, and launched his first album, Old School,. In 2014, he performed with the orchestra of Juan de Dios Filiberto, bringing symphonic arrangements to the occasion as well as the debut of his "Rhapsody on a Theme of Piazzolla" for piano and orchestra. In that same year he made an album for solo piano called Tangos for Piano (EPSA music), which received many good reviews, including four stars in the newspaper Clarín. In 2015 he received the Gardel Prize for "Best Album from a New Artist in Tango" for this same album.
Latin Grammy Award winner bassist and composer Pedro Giraudo is among the most compelling tango artists today. After two decades performing with the most important interpreters of tango, Pedro Giraudo debuted his own Tango Orchestra at Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing in July 2015 and since then has become an active cultural ambassador of this beautiful and passionate music of his native Argentina.
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In 2014 Ruben Blades’ CD “Tangos” on which he recorded bass won two Grammys Awards (Best Tango Album & Best Latin Pop). Pedro Giraudo has collaborated with Pablo Ziegler, Paquito D’Rivera, and Dizzy Gillespie’s protégé William Cepeda, as well as ‘Tango meets Jazz’ guests: Branford Marsalis, Kenny Garret, Regina Carter, Nestor Torres, Miguel Zenon among many others. Pedro Giraudo has also been the musical director of Tango for All’s ‘Blind’, Mariela Franganillo Company’s “Tango Connection” and “Tango Recuerdo” and performed with U.S.’s most prominent tango ensembles including ‘Forever Tango’, Hector Del Curto’s Eternal Tango, and Daniel Binelli’s ‘Tango Metropolis’. He has participated in numerous jazz and music festivals throughout the North America, Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia, and performed in venues such as The Blue Note (Japan & USA), Birdland (Austria), London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Jazz Festival Royale in Thailand, Kennedy Center (Washington DC), Iridium, Jazz Standard, Blue Note, Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall (NYC).
As a composer and arranger, Giraudo leads his own jazz and tango ensembles and has been hailed by critics as one of the most creative and daring bandleaders on the scene today. His compositions combine his love of classical forms, Argentine tango and folk music, and the spontaneity of jazz improvisation. The band, which boasts some of New York’s finest musicians, has performed regularly in the most prestigious jazz clubs in the New York City area, including the Jazz Standard, Birdland, The Jazz Gallery, Blue Note, Joe’s Pub, as well as abroad. John Murph of Downbeat described Giraudo’s music as “an opulent listening experience of modern, orchestral jazz, brimming with passionate improvisations, deliberate contrapuntal melodies and plush harmonies”. Pedro Giraudo has also conducted the world renown WDR Big Band and Cologne Contemporary Jazz Orchestra.
Originally from Montevideo, Uruguay, pianist and composer Gustavo Casenave is considered by the Uruguayan press as "one of the best pianists of our country" (Diario El Pais– Uruguay). An active performer in the jazz world and the contemporary classical scene, as well as being the one of the most saught after Tango composer, pianist and educator in the US. He is a four time Latin Grammy Nominee and a Steinway Artist. Recent awards include 2019 QCA Awardee, 2013 New Music USA and 2013 Con Edison Composer Residency Award.
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Casenave has been performing at numerous venues worldwide such as: Blue Note, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Harris Theatre, NY City Center, Symphony Space, Lincoln Center and Kodak Theatre among many others. He has worked as musical director, pianist, composer and producer of multiple International Tango shows, including: Tango Fire, Forever Tango, Eternal Tango Orchestra, Painting Tango, Tango Casenave, Tango Buenos Aires, Tanguardia, New York Tango Trio, Tango Noir, Avantango and New York - Buenos Aires Connection.
With more than 20 years of teaching experience, he is a current guest artist for master classes and lectures at The Juilliard School. He also taught at: NYU, Yale University, University of Florida, University of Uruguay, Waldorf Schule and Klagenfurt Music Conservatory (Austria) and directed the Jazz Department at the Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts. In 2012, he was invited to appear on Uruguay's most prestigious music series: "Los Grandes Musicos del Uruguay", with a sold out performance at Teatro Solis.
He was Bette Midler's Musical Director for 2 years, and worked also as her accompanist and private teacher. He was commissioned to do an arrangement of his original compositions, for "The twelve cellists of the Berlin Philharmonic", and co–wrote, arranged and recorded the Tango "Volvere" with actor Robert Duvall, which was premiered at Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. He performed and recorded with several Grammy and Oscar award winners, and many internationally acclaimed artists such as: Yo–Yo Ma, Mark Egan, Jane Ira Bloom, Manolo Badrena, John Benitez, Miguel Zenon, Avishai Cohen, Bette Midler, Neil Sedaca, Robert Duvall, Charlie Persip and Curtis Lundy.
Hailed by La Nacion for his "beautiful sound and exquisite musicality," Argentinean violinist Sami Merdinian has received worldwide recognition for his outstanding performances as a soloist and chamber musician. Sami has appeared with the Montevideo Philharmonic, the Argentinean National Symphony, the Charlemagne Orchestre, the Symphony Pro Musica, the Gangneung Philharmonic, the Philharmonia of the Nations at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and the Buenos Aires Philharmonic at Teatro Colon.
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Mr. Merdinian has performed in the prestigious Concerti di Mezzogiorno at Spoleto Festival in Italy, The Perlman Chamber Music Program, I Palpiti Festival, Green Mountains Music Festival in South Korea, Al Bustan Festival in Lebanon, and has performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Izumi Hall, Seoul Arts Center, among others.
Mr. Merdinian has won several international competitions including the Gold Medal in the XII International Young Solo Instrumentalists Competition in Argentina and the New Talent Competition in Slovakia organized by the European Radio. He has also received the Rising Star Award by Tiffany & Co., was named Outstanding Artist of the Year by the Argentinean Press, and has been featured on WQXR in New York, "Spiegenzall" live from the Concertgebouw, Argentinean Classical National Station and the BBC.
Also highly sought–after as a tango violinist, Mr. Merdinian is a member of Hector Del Curto's quintet since 2006. Together, they have toured throughout the US, Mexico and South America, and recorded 2 albums with guest pianist Pablo Ziegler. Mr. Merdinian received a Latin Grammy Nomination for Best Tango Album for Cuartetango's "Masters of the Bandoneon" recording, including collaborations with artists such as Leopoldo Federico, Nestor Marconi, Lisandro Androver, Hector Del Curto, and poet Horacio Ferrer.
Mr. Merdinian was recently the solo violinist of Opera Hispanica's production of Astor Piazzolla's Opera "María de Buenos Aires" which The New York Times called "Stimulating as a Cup of Espresso".
As a violinist of string quintet Sybarite5, Mr. Merdinian has recently performed in venues such as Carnegie Hall, Zankel Hall, Library of Congress, Aspen Music Festival, UC San Diego, Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Chautauqua Institution, Tuckamore Chamber Music Festival, Time Warner Center and Tishman Auditorium. The Quintet's debut EP disc Disturb the Silence, featuring music by Radiohead and Piazzolla, plus two original works written for Sybarite5, quickly reached the top ten on Billboard's Classical Crossover chart.
Mr. Merdinian's discography includes recordings for Universal Records, Canary Classics, CAG Records and Green Parrot Records.
While at The Juilliard School and Yale University, Mr. Merdinian was a pupil of Dorothy Delay, Naoko Tanaka and Peter Oundjian. He is the co–founder and Artist Director of the New Docta Intenational Music Festival in Cordoba, Argentina.