It’s tango time for the best music festival at St Asaph Cathedral


MUSIC lovers are encouraged to put on their dancing shoes for a special concert at an international festival.

Among the stars of the North Wales International Music Festival which resumes virtually in mid-November is the famous London Tango Quintet.

The festival is being held this year as a hybrid event with a diverse mix of live concerts and recorded performances after being held online only last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All of the live concerts were filmed and are now being edited for webcasting starting November 15th.

This was made possible with the support of the Arts Council for Wales and the main sponsors Pendine Park through the Pendine Arts and Community Trust, as well as the other sponsors.

The London Tango Quintet opened this year’s festival at a sold-out St Asaph Cathedral at the end of September – and now there’s a second opportunity to tune in to their performance with the tapping of your feet.

The talented musicians, united by a love of tango, mesmerized audiences and would have loved to see some, if not all, get up and dance the night away.

But the COVID-19 pandemic limited attendance and prevented spectators from moving around the cathedral once the concert began.

Violinist and quintet founder David Juritz said: “I don’t know about the audience, but we had a really fantastic time; it’s a great place to play and it was a really cool crowd.

“And after so long without an audience, it was fantastic to come back and play in front of people who breathe live.”

Despite his lessons, David admitted to being a “really bad tango dancer”.

He said there is a lively tango scene in London and the quintet has performed in dances, adding: “Tango is a fun thing.

“Music is not difficult to play the notes; it’s simple enough, but capturing its spirit is the real task. You have to soak in it completely and play it a lot. We like it.

“Dancers are welcome. It’s really fantastic to play for people who dance and we had concerts when we tell people that they are invited to speak.

“When you see people moving to your music, it changes the way you play and it’s really, really exciting and gives you that extra sense of rhythm.

“I love playing for dancers and would like more of our audiences to dance. Every time someone dances to our music, we are very happy.

Festival artistic director Ann Atkinson said the quintet’s performance was “truly magical” and a wonderful start to the event which first took place 50 years ago.

Ann said: “It was such a shame that we couldn’t get up and dance, but from what I saw there were people moving around in their seats. There were a lot of shoulders. dancing! ”

The London Tango Quintet was established 14 years ago, but its origins date back to the early 1990s, when David heard an album of music by Argentinian composer Astor Piazzolla.

He recalls, “It was something that I wanted to do for years. My wife put on this record that she had just bought and was really excited about it.

“I was so stunned by the music that I decided that was what I wanted to do.

“But I put it on the back burner because there were other things, and it wasn’t until I met accordionist MiloÅ¡ Milivojevic that we decided to start a tango band.

“Guitarist Craig Ogden said he was also enthusiastic so we started to organize concerts.”

The first few years, they gave three or four concerts a year but as their repertoire and their notoriety grew, they were joined by bassist Richard Pryce and pianist David Gordon.

Five concerts were organized at the end of September in the traditional festival house, St Asaph Cathedral.

For more information on the North Wales International Music Festival, please visit: www.nwimf.com.


Gerald R. Schneider

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