B i o g r a phy
MARIANO CASTRO – pianist and guitarist, composer and arranger
Born on July 12, 1975 in the City of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He began his musical studies in piano and guitar at age 10. In 1993 he entered in the Music Conservatory Melani (founded in 1888), studying with the director Elsa Bolia, making parallel careers in both instruments. Subsequently refined with the Russian pianist Vera Anosov, with the pianist and composer Ruben Ferrero (disciple of Antonio de Raco), with Norman Simmons (Charlie Parker, Carmen Mc Rae) in New Jersey, USA, and with the pianist and conductor Nicolás Ledesma (Leopoldo Federico, F. Suarez Paz, Julio Pane).
In his career as a performer covers various musical styles, playing in rock bands, jazz, tango, folklore and classical music, and also performing as a solo pianist and guitarist.
He has made more than 30 international tours with various groups and as soloist, performing in festivals and theaters in different cities of USA, Canada, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Italy, Switzerland, Romania, Poland, Germany, Portugal, Bulgaria, Denmark, Russia and the Netherlands. Since 2008 he is part of the group “Narcotango” that fuses tango with jazz and electronic music and is recognized worldwide. With Narcotango he is nominated 2 times at the Latin Grammy awards (2009 and 2010) in the category of best tango album.
In classical music participated in two national contests of young pianists, as well as in a cycle called "Young Talents" with soprano Maria Virginia Savastano (currently at the Opera de Paris) as well as chamber groups with distinguished violinists cellists and flutists. It has also given concerts as a soloist in various parts of the world (USA, Canada, Europe) playing music by Piazzolla and others introducing the tango and the music of Argentina.
He has participated in over 20 musical productions with various artists. Upon returning from his trip to USA in 2004 he recorded his first solo album, produced by Mike Strand. In it we find the various styles in which Castro is developed closely with the piano and guitar, performing own compositions and arrangements of tangos (Villoldo, Piazzolla), folklore (G. Leguizamon) and jazz (Norman Simmons) and including some of his own compositions. Then in August 2007 released his second solo album, "Ode Porteña", a comprehensive repertoire of tangos with his own arrangements and with the participation of major artists and guest musicians. Also he is composer and producer of the latest albums made by Narcotang, Limanueva (2010, Latin Grammy nominee) and Cuenco (2013)
In their different tours (USA, Canada, Ecuador, Brazil and Europe) has also conducted workshops and clinics on the history of tango, for all audiences, where it develops exemplifying the genre's history with piano and guitar (educational concerts) . This tours in the U.S. and Canada have been sponsored and declared of cultural interest by the Ministry of Culture Office of the President and the General Directorate of Cultural Affairs of the Chancellery Argentina. In his 2006 tour in the United States he was sponsored and declared of cultural interest by the Ministry of Culture of the City of Buenos Aires. These workshops have been held in various places like universities (Drew University and Wittenberg University, USA) as well as in various cultural associations, schools and concert halls around the world.
In 2014 Mariano and the members of narcotango were distinguished as ¨Personalidades destacadas de la cultura¨ (cultural honorary citizens) given by the Congress of Buneos Aires for their 10 years career taking this music from Buenos Aires to many other parts in the world.
Stablished in Europe, in Bucharest, Romania, Mariano starts the collaboration with different local musicians and orchestras. In 2015 he starts to play as soloist with different orchestras and chamber groups. The project called ¨Symphonic Tango¨along with the argentinian singer Analia Selis, where Mariano plays the piano and writes all the orchestral arrangements had a big success on its premier at Sala Radio in Bucharest along with the Orchestra de Camera Radio Romania, and after that was played with different philharmonic orchestras arriving to 30 symphonic tango concerts around Romania, Switzerland, Lithuania and Czech Republic between 2015 and 2020. He worked with conductors such as Kaspar Zehnder, Radu Popa, Cristian Orosanu, Tiberiu Soarem, Jozsef Horvath , Valentin Doni, Sabin Pautza, Vlad Agachi, Tiberiu Oprea, and orchestras like Romania Radio Chamber orchestra (Bucharest), Biel/Solothurn Philharmonic (Switzerland), Klaipeda Chamber orchestra (Lithuania), Bucharest Symphony Orchestra, Filarmonica Targu Mures, Filarmonica Ploiesti, Filarmonica Pitesti, Filarmonica Oradea, Filarmonica Satu Mare, Symphactory Orchestra (Bucharest) between many others.
In 2016 he started a new project, ArgEnTango, a tango quintet, with Analia Selis (vocals), Razvan Suma (cello), Rafael Butaru (violin) and Omar Massa (bandoneon), starting with a national tour in 10 cities of Romania playing the music of Astor Piazzolla in an authentic way, arriving to big halls and stages like Sala Radio (Bucharest), Piata Operei (Timisoara), Filarmonica Brasov between many others. With ArgEnTango he recorded a live album ¨Piazzolla, o poveste autentica¨ edited by Editura Casa Radio (National Radio) CD which was introduced in many cities of Romania during 2018 & 2019 but also played it live in Germany (Barth) and in Lithuania (Klaipeda)
In 2017 he started two new crossover symphonic projects, ¨Fits canta Piaf¨with conductor Cristian Orosanu and Alexandra Fits at vocals, playing the famous repertoire singed by Edith Piaf, and Mariano Castro, piano and orchestral arrangements. The second project ¨TanaseFits Piaf¨, also with Cristian Orosanu and Alexandra Fits, adding some pieces of the repertoire of the great romanian singer Maria Tanase. Both projects already made several times with different philarmonic orchestras (Filarmonica Ploiesti, Orchestra de Camera Radio, Kamerata Kronstadt, Filarmonica Pitesti, between others). By february 2018 ¨Tanase Fits Piaf¨arrived to the great Romanian Atheneum in Bucharest, this time with the Camerata Regala .
In 2019 Tanase Fits Piaf is edited on CD, recorded at Brasov Philharmonic with Kamerata Kronstadt conducted by Cristian Orosanu.
Also in 2017 he made an european tour with Carlos Libedinsky (Narcotango´s foundator) playing some narcotango´s music but also some new neotangos. This tour Europa Tour 2017 included 15 concerts in different cities of Germany, Spain, Italy and Denmark. This tours in duet continued in 2018 & 2019 playing also in France, Romania and the UK.
In 2018 and 2019 starts many other symphonic crossover projects.
Orchestrates the opening concert of the big C ' Art Fest in Cristian, Brasov, where he plays the piano and presents 18 orchestral arrangements, a tribute to the romanian famous singer Maria Tanase, concert in collaboration with the singers Nadia Trohin, Alexandra Fits and Analia Selis. He wrote orchestral arrangements for the well known rock band Bere Gratis for a big symphonic rock concert at Sala Palatului in November 2018. In August 2019 he introduced a symphonic tribute to Nat King Cole, with the great romanian singer Luiza Zan, concert played at the famous Bran Castle (Dracula's Castle), and also in February 2020 with The Philharmonci Orchestra Paul Constantinescu, Ploiesti, Romania and with Brasov Philharmonic Orchestra.
In November 2019 he orchestrates the complete concert "Taxi #20", celebrating the 20 years of the famous romanian rock band Taxi, concert made at Sala Palatului (5000 persons) and where he arranges and also conducts the Bucharest Symphony Orchestra.
By the end of 2019 and the start of 2020 he presented the concert "Tango Sinfónico" in two cities of Czech Republic, 2 concerts in Hradec Kralove and one in Jablonec nad Nasou, concerts made with the Philharmonic Hradec Kralove orchestra conducted by Kaspar Zehnder. In January 2020 he presented this concert again but in the city of Klaipeda, Lithuania, with the Klaipeda Chamber Orchestra.
In 2020 he released the album "The Experiments" with a streaming concert in YouTube, with very personal versions of music by Gato Barbieri, Massive Attack, Pete Townshend, Thelonious Monk, J.S. Bach and also some own new compositions. You can find this album on Spotify / Apple Music / YouTube Music in audio format, and also in video on YouTube.
In 2021 he presents the new symphonic arrangements, the project "Piazzolla 2021" celebrating Astor Piazzolla's Centennial. Along with argentinian singer Analia Selis they performed Piazzolla's vocal and instrumental repertoire, performing with different Philharmonic Orchestras from Romania and Lituania.
In 2021 he performed with the band Narcotango, re interpreting some old classics of the band but also premiering some new music. Concerts in Stockholm, Sweden and in Lyon, France.