“Cuarteto Rotterdam can with good reason be regarded as one of the best European tango ensembles”, “excellent interaction”, “a great moment of tango”, “the best and most interesting tango music that I have heard in a long time”, “this tango quartet of European top class enthralls” – these are just some of the effusive press reactions over the last years.
Today, concert halls and international tango festivals like in Paris, Istanbul, Zurich, Amsterdam and even Buenos Aires can no longer be imagined without these four musicians who have always been able to inspire both concert-goers and tango dancers. In 2011 the quartet even won the 48th Klingenthal International Accordion Competition in the category of instrumental groups with bandoneón.
Brought into being in 2004, the ensemble was named after its birthplace in the Netherlands, where, at that time, the three founding members, Michael Dolak, Susanne Cordula Welsch and Judy Ruks, were studying tango at the Rotterdam Academy for World Music. Since 2007 they have been living in Germany.
Cuarteto Rotterdam is tango – full of passion, virtuosity and power – taking into account of more than 100 years of tango history. Being conscious of this tradition, they perform the early and more cheerful kind of tango music from the Guardia Vieja era with such ease that it makes everyone want to dance. In a compact quartet style, they present the Golden Age of tango from the 1940’s with the highlights of the grand orchestras a la Di Sarli, Troilo, D’Arienzo, Pugliese or Salgán. They feel so close to the challenging Tango Nuevo of Astor Piazzolla that the heartfelt melancholy and complexity of this music is noticeable all the time. And they are curious – curious about the new aspects of tango. In searching for the tango of the 21st century, they have included contemporary Argentine and European tango pieces in their concert and dance programme.
The quartet’s classic structure, consisting of bandoneón, violin, piano and double bass, provides a sound experience ranging between tradition and modernity. With their creativity, imagination and experience this small orchestra conjures up a world of tango for all kinds of emotions.
Michael Dolak (Germany) – bandoneón
Susanne Cordula Welsch (Germany) – violin
Judy Ruks (Netherlands) – piano
Facundo Leónidas Di Pietro (Argentina) – double bass
Fernando Bruguera (Argentina) – piano
(2004 – 2008) Frances Dorling (England) – double bass
(2008 – 2014) Tino Scholz (Germany) – double bass
(2014 – 2022) Anna-Maria Huhn (Germany) – double bass