Following the death of renowned Argentine composer and bandoneón player Astor Piazzolla, Laura Escalada Piazzolla founded the Astor Piazzolla Foundation with the mission of preserving and promoting the maestro’s artistic legacy. The Quinteto Astor Piazzolla was formed in 1998 with five outstanding virtuoso musicians who uphold the musical legacy of Piazzolla and his beloved Buenos Aires.
Pablo Mainetti (bandoneón), Bárbara Varessi Peg (piano), Serdar Geldymuradov (violin), Armando de la Vega (guitar), Daniel Falasca (double bass) and Julián Vat (musical director) form the current generation of this quintet, with the responsibility of preserving the pure sound of Piazzolla in today’s world, while exploring and performing the vast repertoire of this outstanding composer.
Piazzolla’s trademark performance ensemble was the quintet: bandoneón, violin, piano, electric guitar and double bass. Established in 1960 by Piazzolla, the quintet quickly became his favorite tool in the process of creating the sound of nuevo tango, which he developed throughout that decade.
The musicians who accompanied him in the quintet were notable performers with exquisite artistic interpretation and skill that Piazzolla appreciated fundamentally, not only for their ability to execute his highly demanding compositions, but also for how they enriched his music with their unique personalities.
Piazzolla eventually left Argentina for Europe, setting aside the quintet until 1978, when he revived the group and toured with it through 1988. This was the ensemble that witnessed his fame as it spread throughout the world. The repertoire of his second quintet was nurtured on the nuevo tango of the ’60s and the fresh, experimental compositions Piazzolla had been working on, some of which became his masterpieces.
Now nearly 30 years after Piazzolla's death, Quinteto Astor Piazzolla has performed many tours in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia, becoming acclaimed and awarded with international recognition. Its most recent honor was winning the Latin Grammy for best tango album of 2019.
In recent years, the group has released four full-length albums ("Revolucionario," "Fugata," "En 3×4," "Triunfal"), while it performs with a demanding degree of virtuosic skill and rich artistic interpretation. It has revived the classics as well as lesser-known works, allowing old and new audiences to get both nostalgic and fresh takes on Piazzolla’s work. The group's latest disc, "Operation Tango" (E54 Music), marks a departure from the group’s previous efforts. It consists of pieces not written originally by Piazzolla for a quintet but rearranged for this ensemble: “Tango Ballet,” an early Piazzolla piece for a film; “Tocata Rea” and “Fuga y Misterio” from Piazzolla’s “little opera” Maria de Buenos Aires, and “Los Sueños,” from the soundtrack of the film "Sur."
Currently, the quintet is preparing its 2021-2022 international tour to commemorate the centennial of Astor Piazzolla. It is a wonderful opportunity to pay homage to the great composer by taking a look back and revisiting his extensive creative career, combining and contrasting both his classical and popular repertoire in the same concert, and exploring a history of intensity, passion and genius.