Music in Peebles: Santiago Quartet & Julian Rowlands, Bandoneon

January 14, 2018 @ 2:30 pm
Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre
Peebles EH45 8AD
£14 (£7 if accompanying child under 12); free entry for under-25s in full-time education
Music in Peebles
01721 725777

In a welcome return visit to Music in Peebles, Violinist, Rowan Bell leads the Santiago Quartet, with Julian Rowlands, Bandoneon, playing Spirit of the Tango music from Argentina on Sunday 14th January 2018 at 2.30pm in Eastgate Theatre, Peebles.

This concert marks the start of the quartet’s Language of the Heart Tour 2018 to promote their latest album featuring Julian Rowlands, one of the UK’s genuinely accomplished players of the bandoneon, an Argentinian form of accordion. The album will be released in March 2018.

In Language of the Heart, two musical worlds collide: The virtuosic extraversion of Astor Piazzolla’s Nuevo Tango – raw, uninhibited, emotional – and the quiet introversion of Will Todd’s Birthday Quartet (commissioned by Margaret Hennessey-Brown for her husband’s 70th birthday) – lyrical but unsettling, its rich choral voicing and relentless jazz rhythms.

Astor Pantaleón Piazzolla (1921 – 1992) was an Argentine tango composer, bandoneon player, and arranger. He revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music.

The “Spirit of the Tango” pervades the concert programme with five pieces featuring the Bandoneon by Piazolla – Milonga del Angel, Le Quo Vendra, Anxiety, Oblivion, and Four Seasons of Buenos Aires, with three Traditional Tangos – A Media Luz, Nostalgias, El Choclo; and Will Todd’s Birthday Quartet to contrast, played by the Quartet alone.

Will Todd (b.1970) is an English composer, well known for his beautiful and exciting music. His work encompasses choral works large and small, opera, musical theatre and orchestral pieces, as well as jazz compositions and chamber works.


The only classical string quartet in the UK collaborating with bandoneon and specialising in Latin American music was formed during time spent living and working in Mexico. Its members are Rowan Bell, violin; Johanna McWeeney, violin; Cressida Wislocki, viola; Jonathan Hennessey-Brown, cello

These musicians of the Language of the Heart Tour have appeared in several hit West-End shows, BBC and ITV shows, including Strictly Come Dancing, and have performed at venues including the Purcell Room, Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall, the Wigmore Hall, New York Metropolitan Opera House, Bridgewater Hall, Symphony Hall, Birmingham, Javeriana University in Colombia, and the Hollywood Bowl. The quartet has played upstairs at Ronnie Scotts, live on Radio 3 and in the studio at Classic FM.


Julian Rowlands is a bandoneonist, composer and arranger specialising in tango, classical and contemporary music. The bandoneon is a free reed instrument that is renowned for the beauty of its sound, and for its remarkable expressive range and flexibility. Its playing techniques and repertoire were developed in Argentina, where it is the essential voice of the tango. Julian received his degree in music from Southampton University and studied bandoneon with the leading Argentinian player Victor Villena.

Julian is the bandoneonist of leading UK tango ensemble Tango Siempre. He often appears on BBC TV “Strictly Come Dancing” as well as playing recitals on Radio 3 and Wigmore Hall.