Exploring the world of tango violin

Published: 21 Oct 2014

Exploring the world of tango violin

Caroline Pearsall, a professional violinist and tango music specialist from Southampton, has returned from two months in Buenos Aires and the USA on a Churchill Fellowship. She carried out extensive interviews with tango violinists as part of her research for a book on Tango Violin: History, Style and Practise.

During her time there she performed in the Buenos Aires Tango Festival, took part in the first international music course Tango para Músicos, participated in rehearsals and a concert with the Buenos Aires government funded Orquesta Escuela, saw many concerts and was treated to much Argentine hospitality and generosity.

Caroline discovered a world of musicians willing to share their music with her, and learned a lot more about the creative musical Argentine mentality. The sheer variety of styles of the tango violinists she met was enormous and even though many had differing opinions, every single one agreed that the most valuable thing a violinist could contribute was their own voice, their own way of playing this music.

Caroline was thrilled to be able to interview some of the stars, such Fernando Suarez Paz who played in Piazzolla’s last quintet for many years; Pablo Agri, a wonderful musician; and Ramiro Gallo, a young violinist and composer who is doing great things for the violin in the tango world. They explained the difficulties of living in Buenos Aires, a huge sprawling city, almost overwhelming in its size and activity, as well as the musical freedom they feel there.

“Many concerts and cultural events in Buenos Aires are free so people of all classes go regularly to concerts and as a result have a high level of cultural education. This was very refreshing to see. Every night there were at least 5 different concerts to choose from – and that was just for tango music!” said Caroline.

Caroline is currently developing a strings workshop in which she will teach tango music, making a website about tango violin, continuing to write her book and planning a tour of the UK with her London Tango Orchestra for 2015.