Violentango – a name which suggests an explosive mixture: Violent, violas, and tango, and this quartet presents something of all of these. The musicians of the ensemble, Martin Stegner, Julia Gartemann, Martin von der Nahmer and Joaquin Riquelme are violists with the Berliner Philharmoniker, brought together by their common love of tango. On the spur of the moment, they decided to perform self-arranged tangos together at the 2014 Easter Festival in Baden-Baden, and they were encouraged to continue by the great success they enjoyed there.
Dark, warm and deep-toned, the sound of the viola is made for bringing out the swinging, jazz rhythms of George Gershwin in a novel and effective way, or exploring the subversive, off-beat and mysterious sides of Tango Nuevo, the modern form of Argentine tango with which Astor Piazzolla revolutionised the Argentinian national dance after it had fallen into sentimentality and conventionality. But Violentango offers even more: a mix of tango, classical and improvisation, performed by four individuals on the viola.