On October 13 and 14 of this year, the center of the Piazzolla world was displaced 7,882 miles from the delta of the Rio de la Plata to the banks of the Dnieper in Kiev, Ukraine. For the Piazzolla classical world, the center may never return - the folks in Kiev are serious about Piazzolla as evidenced by this years Astorfest.
I do not know who the driving force behind Astorfest is (the website hints that it is Leonily Kruhlikovoyi) but he/she is to be commended. This is the most impressive celebration of Piazzolla's music I have ever seen. Astorfest had high level attention: coverage on local television news, an MTV type remix video and an opening statement from Anatoly Zlenko, an important government official and former Ukraine representative to the UN.
By my reading of the posted Astorfest schedule, there were fifty individual performances of Piazzolla compositions with the finale being an orchestral version of Adios Nonino for string orchestra, accordion, percussion and choir. Many of the performances are available on YouTube through the Astorfest channel and there are more to come. I have watched all of them and the caliber of musicians and performance is uniformly excellent. With so many performances, it was difficult to pick a representative video so I took the easy way out and chose the finale, Adios Nonino.
The organizers have planned even more spectacular events for 2010 and 2011 suggesting that Astorfest has some hope of becoming an annual celebration. Their website is worth reviewing as you make your plans for 2010 and 2011. It is in Russian but Google Translate makes it easy reading.
If the video does not appear below, click here.
To learn more about Piazzolla videos, visit the Piazzolla Video site.