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Tango showcase casts a spell on San Antonio

Tango music and dance developed among the working class Argentinian population in the late 19th century, drawing from African influence, and was later transformed by composers like Ástor Piazzolla and Lalo Schifrin who incorporated classical techniques, and jazz influences from America.

For the Buenos Aires native Pablo Aslan, performing these classic pieces is a privilege.

“For an Argentine musician, there’s nothing more emotional than being able to represent this music on stage,” Aslan said.

Aslan was joined by five colleagues on Sunday, April 28, 2024 at Trinity Baptist Church for a program called “Viva Tango!” presented by the San Antonio Chamber Music Society. The show featured plenty of music by Piazzolla, and the San Antonio debut of a new suite of music by Schifrin, “Letters from Argentina.”

“Lalo is a master orchestrator,” Aslan said enthusiastically. The 91-year-old composer, perhaps best-known for film and television scores like “Bullitt,” “Cool Hand Luke,” and “Mission: Impossible,” wrote and arranged “Letters from Argentina” specifically for this group of players. The music draws on dances like the tango and malambo, Incan melodies, and even takes inspiration from the skies over far-off Iceland.

Hear the complete program using the audio player at the top of this page.


  • Lalo Schifrin: Tango del Atardecer
  • Lalo Schifrin: Pampa
  • Lalo Schifrin: Tango Borealis
  • Lalo Schifrin: Danza de los Montes
  • Lalo Schifrin: Tango a Borges
  • Lalo Schifrin: Malambo de los Llanos
  • Ástor Piazzolla: Michelangelo 70
  • Ástor Piazzolla: Verano Porteño
  • Ástor Piazzolla: La Muerte del Angel
  • Ástor Piazzolla: Libertango
  • Lalo Schifrin: Theme from ‘Mission: Impossible'

Pablo Aslan, double bass
Alex Brown, piano
Hector del Curto, bandoneon
Cho-Liang 'Jimmy' Lin, violin
David Shifrin, clarinet
Satoshi Takeishi, percussion