‘Tango Aliado enchants the audience with it’s virtuoso, rhythmical music’
‘The quartet takes you on a wonderful journey along the different facets of the tango’
‘The audience loved the rich melodies performed by the great musicians’
Tango Aliado wants to draw it’s audience into the colorful world of the Argentine tango. This Amsterdam based quartet has been giving concerts at home and abroad for many years and their performances are always received with great enthusiasm. In 2019, the quartet released it’s second CD called El Compás with new works by Wantenaar and Cosentino and with older tango’s from the early twentieth century. Tango Aliado gives a personal flavour to the tango music by performing it’s own unique arrangements. The enthusiastic professional musicians of Tango Aliado are Françoise van Varsseveld (violin), Mariken Zandvliet (piano), Lucas Stam (cello) and Gert Wantenaar (bandoneon).
Close your eyes and let yourself be swept away by the seductive sounds of the tango! quartet takes you on a wonderful journey along the different facets of the tango
Françoise van Varsseveld
Françoise van Varsseveld obtained her Master of Music violin diploma at the Utrecht Conservatory; her professor was Eeva Koskinen. She also attended master classes and courses with, among others, A. Kerr, R. Honeck, I. Grubert, J. Hellstone and A.L. Breuniger.
She was leader of the Rotterdam Young Philharmonic Orchestra and the Utrecht String Orchestra and concertmaster of the VU chamber orchestra.
She played in various classical orchestra’s (Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Dutch Chamber Orchestra, Ballet Orchestra, Noord Nederlands Orkest, Chineke Orchestra) and in light music ensembles and theater projects (the Metropole Orchestra, Herbert Grönemeyer, Stella Den Haag, Soldaat van Oranje). She discovered a love of tango music during her graduation year and with Gert Wantenaar and Mariken Zandvliet she performed two works by Astor Piazzolla for her final exam. This inspired her to further explore the world of Argentine tango music and later she found Tango Aliado.
Gert Wantenaar is primarily known as an accordionist. He took up the instrument at the age of eight, and when he was twelve was given an LP of the famed Dutch accordionist Johnny Meyer. It inspired him to improvise on the accordion, and he formed his own quartet which performed at jazz festivals throughout the Netherlands. His broad range of musical interests has brought Gert into contact with diverse musical styles, as a keyboard and organ player as well as accordionist. At conservatory he studied classical accordion with Henny Vels and light-music piano with Henk Elkerbout. At age 18 Gert was invited to join the tango orchestra "El Choclo", at that time made up of members of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. He rediscovered the Argentine tango, now playing that music in the ensemble on the accordion. Later, the rejuvenated "Malando Orchestra" invited him to play first accordion, but here he also had the opportunity to play the bandoneon. This small instrument, with its beautiful, characteristic sound, is the soul of the Argentine tango. In 2007 Gert toured Japan and China with the Malando Orchestra for the first time as solo bandoneonist.
Mariken Zandvliet was born in Troyes (France) and took her first piano lessons at the age of seven. At fourteen she made her solo debut with the Gewestelijk Orkest of South Holland. At the Utrecht Conservatory she studied piano with Herman Uhlhorn, earning the Performer’s diploma with distinction. She furthered her studies in chamber music and song accompaniment with Norman Shetler at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. In addition to solo appearances, Mariken is active in a variety of chamber and ensemble formations, with whom she toured the United States, Scandinavia, France, England, Germany and Morocco. She is a member of La Rondine (sextet with winds), Trio Lataster and Tango Aliado. Mariken and the bassoonist Peter Gaasterland have given concerts and masterclasses in Liechtenstein, and she visited China with the soprano Margo Rens. With violinist Tjeerd Top she performed in the major concert halls in the Netherlands as well as in Indonesia, Argentina, India, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica and Brazil. She is a faculty member of the conservatories of Utrecht and Amsterdam as teacher and repetiteur.
Lucas has played the cello since the age of six. After studying classical cello at the Rotterdam Conservatory he made several tours with german rockstar Herbert Grönemeyer, released a world music album with his own compositions together with vocalist Wieke Garcia and formed part of ensemble Tango Aliado. He worked with electronic music composer Pieter Nooten, with whom he performed at the World Press Award ceremony 2014 at Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ. Together with Klaas Berings from Freshbeat Studios he regularly composes music (commercials and documentaries) and recorded with pianists Daan Herweg en Mike del Ferro. He also performs with Indian vocalist Sandhya Sanjana (Halfway to India) and pianist Asli Boz.
From 2016 onwards he started studying North Indian classical music on his cello. In Mumbai, India he studied for several months under Dhruba Ghosh (sarangi) and took tabla lessons from Vaibhav Kadam (tabla). In Netherlands he took lessons from Lenneke van Stalen (violin) and Heiko Dijker (tabla). Currently he is studying dhrupad, one of the oldest forms of Indian classical music, under vocalist Marianne Svasek and followed workshops of vocalist Nirmalya Dey.