Christian Danowicz was born in 1983 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the age of four, he moved with his family to France. His father was his first violin teacher. He is a graduate of the Conservatory in Toulouse where he studied with Gilles Colliard. He completed his Master’s studies at Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw, under the tutelage of Julia and Krzysztof Jakowicz, in 2010. The same year, he completed a Bachelor’s Degree from the opera and symphonic conducting class of Antoni Wit. He now studies conducting under the direction of prof. Tomasz Bugaj, at Fryderyk Chopin University. He is also pursuing doctoral studies at the Wroclaw Academy of Music under violin professor Jaroslaw Pietrzak. Danowicz is a laureate of the Tadeusz Wronski International Solo Violin Concourse in Warsaw and received first prize in the chamber music competition of the Duxbury Music Festival, in 2010. Since 2010, he has held the position of concertmaster of the Leopoldinum Chamber Orchestra, in Wroclaw. He performs regularly as a soloist and conductor with the ensemble, and as a member of the Leopoldinum Soloists Trio, he has received a scholarship to study for one year at the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sophia in Madrid, in the chamber class of G. Pichler.
Ástor Piazzolla was born in Mar del Plata, located on the Atlantic coast of Argentina. He immigrated to New York with his family as a child and grew up on the Lower East Side. "The first bandoneón that I had my Papá gave me when I was eight years old," Piazzolla recalled, "He brought it wrapped in a box, and I was happy, believing that it was the skates that I had asked for many times… In place of the skates I encountered an apparatus that I had never seen in my life. Papá sat himself on a chair, placed the thing between my arms, and said to me: 'Astor, this is the instrument of the tango, I want you to learn to play it.' My first reaction was to complain. The tango was the music that he listened to almost every night when he returned from work, and which I did not like."
The bandoneón is an instrument of German origin, a button accordion invented by Heinrich Band in the 1840s and brought to South America in the great wave of immigration. The South American rendition has 71 buttons arranged in patterns that are difficult to master for anyone used to keyboard instruments. Piazzolla was 16 years old when his family returned to Argentina, and he was soon working in tango orchestras. In 1944, he was studying composition with Ginastera, so he left the Troilo band and formed the Orquesta del 46, to play his own compositions. A symphony he composed in 1954 for the Buenos Aires Philharmonic earned him a scholarship to study in Paris with Nadia Boulanger.
Alixandra Porembski, English Language Annotator