What’s On: Owen Salomé and the Brisbane Tango Orchestra

Brisbane Tango Orchestra. Image credit: Alex Jamieson

Owen Salomé and the Brisbane Tango Orchestra

12 February 2023

The Old Museum, Fortitude Valley.

Also touring to Maleny, Tugun, Redland, and Beaudesert (10 – 18 February)

The Brisbane Tango Orchestra will welcome internationally acclaimed composer and bandoneón soloist Owen Salomé to perform a series of concerts across South East Queensland in February, featuring world premiere music especially commissioned for the series.

Amongst his many accolades, Australian-born/Buenos Aires-based composer and bandoneón soloist Owen Salomé is one of the bandoneónists of the 16th iteration of the 2-year ‘Orquesta Escuela Emilio Balcarce’ tango program in Buenos Aires: the first ever Australian to hold the position.

The Brisbane Tango Orchestra (BTO) is an eight-piece ensemble founded by Chloe Ann Williamson (Double Bassist and Artistic Director) which specialises in Argentinian tango music.

Since the early twentieth century, Argentine tango music and the tango have become a world music phenomenon thanks to notable musicians and composers such as Astor Piazzolla. The usual instrumentation of a tango orchestra includes a string section, double bass, piano, and several bandoneóns. The bandoneón is a concertina quintessential to Argentine tango, but this instrument is rarely heard in Australia. For audiences, the opportunity to hear a concert of entirely new tango music by an Australian composer performed by a professional bandoneónist and local professional orchestra is unprecedented.

Owen Salomé, photographed by Mel Robin

“It is important to me that tango be a living, evolving tradition. Tango does not exist in a museum. As such, I am heavily invested in the creation of new music. For example, my trio, Tango Enigmático, recorded music by living composers from both Argentina and Australia for our debut EP released this year (2022). Owen Salomé was one of these composers,” said Williamson.

“Owen carries a unique skillset. He combines his strong background in composition with a deep understanding of tango music through his years of study in Argentina; he is also an accomplished bandoneónist – an instrument which is pivotal in tango music. Owen has studied bandoneón and tango-music arranging/composition with Hugo Satorre, Ramiro Boero and Pablo Estigarribia. Owen is the first Australian to ever win a place as bandoneónist in the world’s leading tango-musician training program, the Emilio Balcarce Tango Orchestra School.”

For ticketing and further information, visit the Brisbane Tango Orchestra website

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