Conceived by Lesley Karsten
Written by Lesley Karsten and Stephen Wadsworth
Director Jazz at Lincoln Center performances: Sarah Meyers
Original Director by Stephen Wadsworth
Music Director Brandt Fredriksen
Lesley Karsten as Astor Piazzolla
Pablo Aslan, bass
Nick Danielson, violin
Brandt Fredriksen, piano
J.P. Jofre, bandoneon
Story and Music Consultants
Fernando Gonzalez and Kip Hanrahan
Lighting Design: Daniel Barbee
Design Consultant: Charlie Corcoran
LESLEY KARSTEN, performer and co-writer, has had a long and varied career in both film and music.
She began her professional life as a literary agent in Los Angeles. In 1987, she moved to New York to pursue a career in documentary film, during which she worked as an Associate Producer and/or Senior Reporter on a diverse range of projects. Among other topics, her films have dealt with mental illness, the class system in Great Britain, the Mormons, infidelity, the spiritual aftershocks of 9/11, forgiveness, and mortality. These films aired on PBS, Frontline, American Experience, ABC Closeup, and Turner Broadcasting.
Collaborating with renowned documentary film producer, Helen Whitney, Ms. Karsten served as Senior Reporter for a two-part special for PBS entitled Forgiveness: A Time to Love; A Time to Hate. She recently completed work on a two-hour documentary entitled Into the Night - Portraits of Life and Death, also with Ms. Whitney. Into The Night: Part One aired in Spring 2018; Part Two is scheduled for release in 2021.
She is currently at work on a second mono-drama, based on the life of renowned pedagogue and conductor, Nadia Boulanger. Widely considered the “greatest teacher since Socrates,” Nadia ushered in a musical revolution that continues to this day.
STEPHEN WADSWORTH, co-writer/original director, is a ground-breaking writer and director for the stage. American Theater has called him “one of the most influential directors of the 21st century.” For his translations of classic French stage works he was named Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the Republic of France.
In opera he wrote A Quiet Place with Leonard Bernstein (GRAMMY nom) and the story for Daron Hagen and Gardner McFall’s Amelia. He is acclaimed for his direction of the Seattle Ring cycle and the operas of Handel, including Rodelinda at the Metropolitan Opera, where he also staged productions of Boris Godunov and Iphigénie en Tauride. He has directed new work by such diverse writers as Beth Henley, Ken Ludwig, Peter Lieberson and Anna Deavere Smith, and he recently directed Terrence McNally’s Master Class on Broadway and in the West End. His work on plays from Aeschylus, Shakespeare and Marivaux to Shaw, Wilde and Coward have established him as a master of the classic repertoire.
At the Juilliard School he is The James S. Marcus Faculty Fellow, recipient of the John Erskine Faculty Prize, and creator, with Brian Zeger, of the first intensive acting program for singers in the world.
KIP HANRAHAN, story and music consultant, is a composer, lyricist and record producer.
He founded American Clavé Music in 1979 as a platform for his own work, and to work with musicians in creating their most personal art using the vocabulary of jazz, Latin and popular music. The label has been an artistic home for a wide range of artists, including Astor Piazzolla, Don Pullen, Steve Swallow, Allen Toussaint, Charles Neville, Brandon Ross Robby Ameen, Jack Bruce and Ishmael Reed.
Hanrahan was a long-time associate of Astor Piazzolla, and produced three of his recordings including Tango Zero Hour, considered by many (including Piazzolla himself) to be Piazzolla's best work and consistently praised for the elegance of its production.
Hanrahan's widely acclaimed body of original work is an art music that reinvents popular forms to reveal complexities and possibilities otherwise obscured. As one critic put it, "it's art you can dance to." His most recent recording, Crescent Moon Waning, was released on May 3, 2018.
FERNANDO GONZALEZ is an Emmy winning and GRAMMY nominated arts writer, critic and musician. He contributes regularly to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation blog; the digital arts magazine Artburst Miami and writes the blog Jazz With An Accent. He also has been the Associate Editor of The Latin GRAMMY Print & Special Projects for The Latin Recording Academy since 2011.
His affiliations include stints as staff writer for The Miami Herald and The Boston Globe, correspondent for The Washington Post; Managing Editor of the music magazine JAZZIZ; columnist for Downbeat magazine and contributor to JazzTimes. He has written program notes for Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Edinburgh Festival, has contributed essays to National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, was the managing editor of El Sitio.com, a pioneering bilingual site (1999) and a columnist, writing in Spanish, for Eritmo.com, a Latin music website (2000-2002).
Complementing his work in arts journalism, González has been also active in record production, teaching, radio hosting and arts administration. He was the Curator of Jazz Programming for the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center, Miami (2005-2007) and translated and annotated Astor Piazzolla, A Memoir (Amadeus Press), as told to Natalio Gorín by Argentine New Tango composer Astor Piazzolla (2001).
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, González majored in math at the University of Buenos Aires before pursuing music full time. He moved to the United States to attend Berklee College of Music, majoring in Composition/Film Music. He is a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (GRAMMY®) and the Latin Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Latin GRAMMY ®).
Internationally acclaimed pianist, Brandt Fredriksen enjoys a dynamic and versatile career as a performer, musical director and teacher. His debut recitals were held in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York City, Gasteig Cultural Center in Munich, Germany, and Vafopoulio Cultural Center in Thessaloniki, Greece. Fredriksen has appeared in recitals as a soloist and a collaborative artist at many prestigious venues including Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, Florence Gould Hall, Gasteig Cultural Center, Megaron Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece and Beijing Concert Hall in China. In 1999, he was selected by the U.S. and China Foundation to perform recitals and concertos throughout China, a tour that included Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, and Shenyang.
An active chamber musician, Fredriksen performs frequently with members of the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, The Juilliard School, New Hellenic String Quartet, Harrington String Quartet and the American String Quartet
Fredriksen’s interest in collaboration extends to film and theater. He is the pianist and music director of That’s Not Tango: Astor Piazzolla--- A Life in Music. Other recent collaborations include Richard Strauss' Enoch Arden (in German), a melodrama for narrator and piano with actor Paul Pattloch; The Complete Brahms Sonatas for Violin and Piano with violinist Anton Miller and contemporary works by composer William Weigel.
Dr. Fredriksen has held professorships at Georgia State University, Kent State University and Lawrence University and serves on the artist faculty of the United Nations International School as well as the pre-college piano faculty of Manhattan School of Music.
A Munz Award recipient from The Juilliard School, Brandt Fredriksen holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School and a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University
A native of San Juan, Argentina, Juan Pablo Jofre Romarion, a.k.a JP JOFRE, is an award-winning bandoneon player and composer. Mr. Jofre has been repeatedly highlighted by the New York Times and praised as one of today’s leading artists by Great Performers at Lincoln Center.
His music has been recorded by 13 times Grammy winner Paquito D’ Rivera, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and choreographed/performed by ballet-star Herman Cornejo (Principal Dancer of the American Ballet Theatre).
A recipient of the National Prize of the Arts grant in Argentina, Mr. Jofre has taken his form of contemporary tango to some of the most important venues around the world. He has performed as soloist/composer with numerous orchestras including the San Antonio Symphony, San Diego Symphony, and Argentina's National Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Jofre has participated in many prestigious festivals including the Celebrity Series of Boston, Umbria Festival, and Great Performers at Lincoln Center. He has given lectures and master classes at Google Talks, TEDtalks, The Juilliard School, Dartmouth College, and Manhattan School of Music.
Mr. Jofre has been commissioned by violinist-conductor Michael Guttman and violinist Francisco Fullana in collaboration with the San Antonio Chamber Orchestra and Metropolis Ensemble to write two double concertos for violin and bandoneon. Recently, virtuoso clarinet player Seunghee Lee commissioned Mr. Jofre to write a double concerto for clarinet and bandoneon.
More at jpjofre.com.
SARAH MEYERS, director, has been on the directing staff at the Metropolitan
Opera since 2006, and has also been a guest director for companies including San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, and LA Opera. She is active in the
development of contemporary music and innovative work. In 2018 she directed the
premiere of Gregg Kallor’s Dramatic Sketches from Frankenstein at Green-Wood Cemetery in a production WQXR declared one of the standout performances of the year. Operawire described the performance as “riveting … an extraordinary experience.” ArtsImpulse Theatre Awards declared her 2014 production of the new opera Gallo by Ken Ueno “Best Opera” of the year. She is also the author of a new translation/adaptation of Die Fledermaus, which received rave reviews following performances in Boston in 2019.
Heralded as “the next accordion star,” Julien Labro has established himself as the foremost accordion and bandoneón player in both the classical and jazz genres. Deemed to be “a triple threat: brilliant technician, poetic melodist and cunning arranger,” his artistry, virtuosity, and creativity as a musician, composer and arranger have earned him international acclaim and continue to astonish audiences worldwide.
Labro’s musical journey has taken him all across North and South America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. His long list of classical collaborations includes A Far Cry, Spektral Quartet, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra of St Luke’s, New World Symphony, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra, and the New York City Ballet to name a few. A frequent guest soloist of symphonies, Labro has also written for numerous chamber ensembles, from quartets to full orchestra.
Labro has worked and premiered works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Du Yun, Bryce Dessner, Angélica Negrón, Clarice Assad, Ethan Iverson, and Avner Dorman. He has collaborated and shared the stage with the likes of Cassandra Wilson, Maria Schneider, Anat Cohen, João Donato, Marcel Khalife, Paquito D’Rivera, Pablo Ziegler, Uri Caine, Miguel Zenón, James Carter, John Clayton, guitarists Jason Vieaux, Larry Coryell, Tommy Emmanuel, and John and Bucky Pizzarelli.
For more information visit: www.julienlabro.com
Grammy-winning violinist Nick Danielson enjoys a distinguished career as both a classical and tango musician. He is featured in Stravinsky’s “Concertino”
on Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’s Grammy-winning “Shadow Dances.” He is also featured in two Latín Grammy-winning recordings; “Vital”, with pianist Fernando Otero
( Best Classical Álbum, 2010 ), and “Vigor Tanguero”, with the Pedro Giraudo Tango Quartet ( Best Tango Album, 2018 ).
Among his many collaborations, Nick performs in a duo with bandoneón legend Daniel Binelli, with whom he received two consecutive Latín Grammy Nominations for their albums “Nostalgias” and “Marrón y Azul”.
Nick is also the Assistant Concertmaster of the NYC Ballet Orchestra, with whom he frequently performs as a solo violinist.
Further highlighting his versatility, he played the role of “The Fiddler” in Broadway’s 2004 production of “Fiddler on the Roof”.
He received his training at the Curtis Institute of Music with the legendary Ivan Galamian.
Living in the United States since 1980, Argentine-born bassist and composer Pablo Aslan is recognized internationally as one of the leading figures in traditional and contemporary tango. His latest release, Contrabajo features Aslan as a bass soloist accompanied by a string quartet in an eclectic and personal mix of Latin American music. His extensive discography includes Piazzolla in Brooklyn (2011), a tribute to Astor Piazzolla, and Tango Grill (2009). The latter earned him nominations for a Latin Grammy Award (“Best Tango Album”) and a Grammy Award (“Best Latin Jazz Album”).
As a producer, he has shaped more than a dozen albums, including the 2007 Latin Grammy Winner Te Amo Tango by Uruguayan bandoneonist Raul Jaurena. Most recently, Aslan worked on albums by the Glass House Orchestra, Tributango quartet, Norwegian pianist Hakon Skogstad, and a series of tangos for dancers. In 2016, he founded Avantango Records.
Aslan has also performed and recorded with many world-class artists, including Yo-Yo Ma, Shakira, Lalo Schifrin, Denyce Graves, Osvaldo Golijov, Pablo Ziegler, the New World Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Aslan has also performed with clarinetist David Krakauer’s band Klezmer Madness! in the U.S. and Europe, and collaborated with other leading klezmer musicians such as composer-trumpeter Frank London and violinist Alicia Svigals.
Aslan is an active researcher and educator producing educational programs for Lincoln Center Institute, Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concerts, and Arts Connection in New York City. As a guest lecturer, he has taught at several universities throughout the United States, including Harvard, Yale, and UCLA. Serving as Artistic Director of the Reed Tango Music Institute for the 2013-14 season, Aslan has also been a Featured Artist at the Indiana University Tangueros Conference.
From prestigious concert halls around the world to an Icelandic volcano, virtuoso violinist Eric Silberger’s performances have been described by critics as “spine- tingling...astonishing” (The Guardian), “dazzling virtuoso playing” (The Washington Post), “impeccable level of playing, a wonderful musician” (The Strad). “ ....he has got everything in his favour, technique, composure and personality.” (El Pais, Spain).
He is a prize winner of the XIV International Tchaikovsky Competition and the Michael Hill International Violin Competition in 2011.
Eric has collaborated as soloist with the Mariinsky Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Philharmonia, St. Petersburg Philharmonia, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Danish National Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre, Orquesta Sinfónica de México, Munich Chamber Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, among others.
Conductors Eric has worked with include Lorin Maazel, Valery Gergiev, Michael Tilson Thomas, Dimitri Kitajenko, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Donald Runnicles, Robin Ticciati, and others.
He has appeared at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Louvre in Paris, the Great Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonia, The Moscow International House of Music in Russia, Shanghai Grand Theatre in China, Royal Festival Hall in London, Seoul Arts Center in Korea, the National Arts Centre in Canada, and more.
Eric received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Columbia University and a Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School. Mentors have included Glenn Dicterow, Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman, and the late Maestro Lorin Maazel.
Eric plays on a rare J.B. Guadagnini violin made in 1757 on generous loan from the Si- Yo Music Society Foundation and Sau-Wing Lam collection. Eric is a co-founder of the Hawaii International Music Festival and Executive Director of Strings at Classical Bridge International Music Festival of New York City.