“here is the tango, raw, intoxicating, speaking with its true voice.” – Financial Times
“composer and bandoneon master Julian Rowlands ensures that the evening reaches the state of tango nirvana” – The Guardian
Julian Rowlands is a bandoneonist, pianist, composer and arranger. He specialises in tango music including the works of Astor Piazzolla, as well as classical, contemporary and world music. The bandoneon, the instrument of Astor Piazzolla, is a free reed instrument renowned for the beauty of its sound, and for its remarkable expressive range and flexibility. Julian’s bandoneon takes him to a variety of locations including TV and recording studios, the West End stage, concert halls, theatres, and opera houses.
Julian is currently preparing new projects for 2022-3, after a successful return to live performance in the latter part of 2021 with appearances at Snape Maltings, the Wimbledon International Music Festival, Investec International Music Festival and the Argentine Embassy, London.
Highlights of 2019 included touring with Tango Siempre in the show Tangomotion, and appearances at the Purcell Room, National Concert Hall Dublin, Edinburgh Fringe, and the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence.
Julian’s 2018 album “Language of the Heart” with the Santiago Quartet attracted praise from artists including Sting – “stunning chromatic clarity … truly special”, and Bob Geldof – “Sexier than 50 Shades of Grey”. Other recent recording work has included Bryan Ferry’s 2018 album “Bittersweet” and the soundtrack of “Loving Vincent”.
Julian often plays on BBC TV “Strictly Come Dancing” and has appeared on “The One Show” , “Zingzillas”, ITV’s “Surprise Surprise”, BBC Radio 3’s “In Tune” and “The Sound of Dance”, BBC Radio 4 “Front Row”, and “The Tom Robinson Show” on Radio 6. He made his Radio 3 debut in 2010 accompanying bass-baritone Erwin Schrott in a live broadcast from the Royal Opera House, and his Wigmore Hall debut later that year playing Piazzolla’s “Five Tango Sensations” with the soloists of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Other artists and ensembles with whom he has worked include the Philharmonia Orchestra, Philharmonia Chamber Players, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, the City of London Sinfonia, Chineke, Omar Puente, and the RTE Concert Orchestra.
Julian Rowlands’ repertoire includes the major works of Astor Piazzolla: the concertos, quintets, Tango Sensations and solo arrangements; the operas Maria de Buenos Aires (Piazzolla) and Mahagonny (Weill); the Misa a Buenos Aires (Misatango) by Martin Palmieri; solo classical pieces, traditional and contemporary tango arrangements, chamber music, and his own compositions.
Together with Ros Stephen and Jonathan Taylor of Tango Siempre, Julian created the score for the Olivier-nominated “Midnight Tango” starring Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone, and appeared in its 480 performances in the west end and on tour from 2011-2013. Other composing and arranging credits include “Flying into daylight” by Emmy award winning writer Ron Hutchinson, Tangomotion and other Tango Siempre productions, and Violetta’s Last tango.
Publications by Julian Rowlands in the Schott World Music series include “Argentinian Tango and Folk Tunes for Piano”, “Russian Folk Tunes for Piano“, “Russian Folk Tunes for Accordion“, “Klezmer Piano” and “Klezmer Fiddle” (with Ros Stephen).
Julian lives in London with violinist and composer Ros Stephen and their daughter Ellie.