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Season Concert

The French Connection

Héctor del Curto, bandoneon
October 1, 2023
3:00 pm
Mount Baker Theatre


Lili Boulanger | D'un Matin de Printemps (Of a Spring Morning) 
Astor Piazzolla | 'Aconcagua' Concerto for Bandoneon and Orchestra
Modest Mussorgsky | Pictures at an Exhibition

Ooh la la! We’re kicking off our 48th Season with a musical journey, highlighting the French connection between three works by Boulanger, Piazzolla, and Mussorgsky and featuring Bandoneonist Héctor del Curto!

First, we start the program with Lili Boulanger’s D'un Matin de Printemps, translated as “Of a Spring Morning”, a picturesque and moody French impressionist piece composed in 1918, shortly before the composer’s death at the age of 24. From a musical family, Lili Boulanger’s older sister, Nadia, was a music teacher and conductor who taught many of the 20th century’s most well-known musical giants, including Aaron Copland, Philip Glass, and Astor Piazzolla.

Next, Héctor del Curto joins the orchestra for Astor Piazzolla’s 'Aconcagua' Concerto for Bandoneon and Orchestra. Often used in Tango ensembles, the Bandoneon is an accordion-like concertina popular in Argentina and Uruguay.  A composer, bandoneon player, and arranger, Piazzolla studied with Nadia Boulanger in Paris in the mid-1950s, discovering his unique sound under her tutelage. Piazzolla is credited with the creation of “Neuvo Tango” – a new style of Tango music that incorporates elements of jazz and classical music. 

Praised by the New York Times as a "splendid player," Grammy-winning musician, composer, recording artist, and educator Héctor Del Curto is one of the world’s most sought–after bandoneonists. He has performed with many renowned artists across musical genres, and appeared with the world's leading orchestras, including the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

Finally, the program concludes with Modest Mussorgsky’s popular and descriptive Pictures at an Exhibition. Pictures is a Russian-composed piece orchestrated by a French composer, Maurice Ravel. The piece takes us on a musical journey through an art exhibition–specifically an exhibition by painter Viktor Hartmann– with each movement describing a painting, all connected by a repetitive Promenade theme, which evokes feelings of walking from piece to piece.

Don’t miss this incredible afternoon of music!

“Héctor Del Curto played wistful, piercing solos on the bandoneon, …”
- New York Times

Of Note

Astor Piazzolla described his studies in Paris with Nadia Boulanger to his daughter as “I think, the most effervescent moment of my life in terms of creativity,” according to the LA Times.

Lili Boulanger was the first woman to win the Prix de Rome in 1913, a prestigious award that provided all expenses paid study in Rome (Classic FM)

Russian Architect and Painter Viktor Hartmann and Modest Mussorgsky were good friends until Hartmann’s untimely death from an aneurysm at the age of 39. Paintings at an Exhibition is based on one of Hartmann’s exhibitions.

Discover More

Hector del Curto playing bandaneon

WATCH: Héctor del Curto: Channeling the Voice of Tango, BBC News

WATCH: Lili Boulanger’s Of a Spring Morning, Cristian Măcelaru and the Seattle Symphony

WATCH: Piazzolla - Concierto Para Bandoneon (M Kölner Rundfunkorch., Alvaro Pierri)

READ: Tango Titan: Remembering Composer and Bandoneon Master Astor Piazzolla at 100, Strings Magazine, 2021

READ: The Quest for Immortality: Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition

Experience One-of-A-Kind Moments!

Check out our BSO Health & Safety Guidelines and Concert FAQs to find out more about how we are working to keep you safe while sharing the joy of LIVE music.

Tickets: $15 to $52

A Pre-Concert Lecture about the program will take place at 2:15PM in the Walton Theatre. Doors open at 2PM and seating is limited, so please plan accordingly. These lectures are free for ticket-holders.

This concert qualifies for Classical Kids, Take-A-Teen, and Student Rush ticket discounts. Visit to learn more.

*All programs subject to change