Author Archives: Mary Oleskiewicz

Listening and Dancing to Troilo — Hosted by Montango (Montreal) July 13

Mary Oleskiewicz
Mary Oleskiewicz

As part of the celebrations marking the Golden Age Tango Orchestra leader and virtuoso bandoneonist Aníbal Troilo’s centenary, MonTango invites you to a special workshop: Tango Music and Movement: Listening and Dancing to Troilo


Montango Dance Studio
5588A, Rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, Quebec H4A 1W3; Tel. +1 514-486-5588,

Workshop Information:

This workshop will teach you how to listen to and recognize the distinctive musical style of Aníbal Troilo’s tango orchestra. The evolution of his style, which spans the years 1938 to 1975, offers a fascinating look at the gradual style changes in tango music and the development of the Orquesta Típica. Following the listening portion of the workshop, we will introduce carefully designed exercises in movement quality to help dancers feel and express Troilo’s special brand of phrasing and lyricism. Prerequisite: Tango 4 or equivalent (a year or more of regular classes and practice). No prior technical musical knowledge is necessary; no partner needed.

Mary Oleskiewicz is an internationally recognized musicologist, master teacher of music, and authority on European and Latin American music. She is also a prizewinning flutist and a player of the bandoneon. Mary began dancing Argentine Tango in 2005 and specializes in teaching Tango musicality. Read more about her at

Note that this workshop replaces the guided practice. From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., right before the Café-Croissant-Tango.

$20 members, $25 non-members, milonga included.



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April Tango Performance and Workshop (Providence, Rhode Island)

Marco y Mary
Marco y Mary

On Friday, April 25th, Marco y Mary (M&M Tango) will perform Argentine tango at the Tango Incident, hosted by Providence Tango, Providence Rhode Island.  They will also teach a workshop in Tango Musicality on the following day, April 25, from 1-3pm.

For more details about the workshop, see

For details about the milonga and performance, see

Visit M&M Tango’s Facebook Page

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“She has excellent breath control, intonation, technique, and sense of period style, making her one of the greatest baroque flutists of our time.” – American Record Guide

Johann Joachim Quantz Flute Concertos, performed by Mary Oleskiewicz, traverso; Concerto Armonico, Miklos Spanyi, director, Naxos 8.573120.

American Record Guide, Jan./Feb. 2014 (pp. 158-159), reviewed by Susan Gorman

“Johann Joachim Quantz (1697-1773) was older than the sons of Bach, which meant he lived during the transition between baroque and classical styles. He spent most of his life a court flutist to Frederick the Great and wrote flute concertos for 50 years.  Four of them are recorded for the first time here.  Since most of Quantz’s voluminous output hasn’t been published, much of it has not been performed or even looked at in modern times.  Everything we have encountered by him has been consistently high in quality, and these concertos are no exception.

The concerto in A minor disappeared from Berlin during World War II, but in her research on Quantz Oleskiewicz found it at the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg.  It is thought to be fairly early, from the 1730s.  We find Quantz writing in full sturm und drang mode.  He even borrows motifs from CPE Bach’s flute concertos–or seems to. The writing can have an Italiante feel, too, like Vivaldi, especially in the first movement.  That movement is a study in rhythm:  the strings have repeated 8th and 16th noteswith an intense and driven character, and the flute soloist almost alwasy has triplets that are not intense and feel more galant and less like Vivaldi.

The Concerto in G is as galant as can be, with a slow movement so darkly beautiful it is alone worth acquiring this release to hear.  I immediately fell in love with the quiet tragedy in the writing and played it more than once before going on.  The handwritten copy of this work made for the king has remained safe in Berlin, but another copy in Berlin’s Sing Academy was thought to have been lost in World War II and was rediscovered in 2001.  This copy has cadenzas in two of the movements, which are quite a find, because 18th Century cadenzas were not always written out.  Oleskiewicz was delighted to include them.

The Concerto in D minor is the earliest here, thought to date from Quantz’s time in Dresden before he came to the court of King Frederick the Great.  This would probably place it in the 1730s.  This is the only work of the four that has been published.  Like the A minor, it has a sturm und drang  and Italianate character.  The concerto opens with a powerful unison statement, but the piece is just as much about contrasts. The slow movement uses pizzicato, which Quantz doesn’t employ often.

Frederick the Great also played the flute and composed.  Although he continued to play into his old age, he stopped writing for the flute when he got you have the concept behind older.  Quantz was working on a concerto in C minor when he died in 1773.  Frederick finished the concerto by writing a third movement.  It had to have been a bittersweet collaboration.  The piece, then, was both Quantz’s and Ferderick’s last composition.  It shows how conservative taste at the court had become, yet it is still well worth hearing. [...]

Mary Oleskiewicz is an American flutist who has won the National Flute Association’s Baroque Flute and Doctoral Dissertation competitions.  She plays on an instrument with two keys, one for D-sharp and one for E-flat, modeled on the kind Quantz used.  She has excellent breath control, intonation, technique, and sense of period style, making her one of the greatest baroque flutists of our time.  Concerto Armonico is a period-instrument ensemble based in Budapest that was founded in 1983.  They play very well, though the sound is thin when the writing is thin.  Just as in the release by Rachel Brown on Hyperion, this group uses harpsichord sometimes and fortepiano sometimes (Frederick had several keyboard instruments).  The orchestra used here is 2-2-1-1-1 plus bassoon and keyboard.  Two of the concertos use one player per part because Frederick liked that scoring as he got older.  The ensemble has recorded all of CPE Bach’s keyboard concertos in a 20-disc series for BIS (see Index).  The sound and the balances are excellent.

Some of the Quantzes in the United STates trace their ancestry to the musician.  I know of one, a young adult, who lives in New York and made his living as a freelance musician for many years.  I guess music runs in the family, even 300 years later.”

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March Musicality Classes by M&M Tango

By popular demand, Marco y Mary will offer two new musicality series:

Marco y Mary

(1)   Tango Beat Basics, 1pm to 2:00 pm (perfect for beginners, but valuable to experienced dancers)

(2)   Introductory Tango Movement and Music, 2:00pm to 3:30pm (mixed levels)

*We guarantee that your ability to hear, understand, and express the rhythms, phrases, and structure of tango music will dramatically improve by taking these classes. Offered back to back, the two courses will complement each other. No partner needed. (Detailed class descriptions at the bottom).

Mixed level. No partner necessary. We will listen AND dance.
Sundays, March 2, 9, 16, 23
Location: Dance Union, 16 Bow St., Union Square, Somerville

Discounted Pre-Registration prices available:
(1)   Tango Beat Basics, $60 (four 1-hour classes); drop in $20/$18 students
(2)   Introductory Music and Movement, $65 (four 1.5 hour classes); drop-in $23/$20 students

To register with paypal:
Free parking at Citizen’s bank lot, across the street
More information: contact Mary Oleskiewicz on FB, or at


*Class Descriptions:

(1)   “Tango Beat Basics”:  If you have trouble finding and following the beat or would like to understand rhythm, beat, and syncopation, this class is for YOU. If you would like to be more sensitive and subtle in how to express beats and tango rhythms in your movement, this class is also for YOU. If you want to maximize your experience in the Music and Movement Series, this class is for YOU.  No new figures will be introduced.

N.B. Each Tango Beat Basics class serves both to transition new and returning students smoothly into that day’s “Tango Music and Movement” class, as well as reinforce concepts that you may have already encountered. If you have not taken musicality with M&M Tango previously, you should sign up for this course before taking a class in the Music and Movement series. You may take the Tango Beat Basics class prior to any single class in the series, or you may take it as a separate series.

(2)   “Introductory Tango Music and Movement” (continuation series). These classes will develop your listening skills and teach you (1) to be able to hear and dance to the musical structures are phrases that comprise a piece of tango music and (2) the techniques of movement quality needed to move musically and sensitively to different kinds of tango music and to different orchestras. We will cover tango, vals, and milonga.  This is a well-structured course that develops a system for you to understand music and movement by breaking down concepts clearly, simply, and systematically. Exercises will employ figures you already know. If you have not had previous musicality classes with us, the Tango Beat Basics will prepare you.


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January 2014: New Series – Introductory Tango Music and Movement

Four weekly musicality and technique classes offered by M&M Tango (Mary Oleskiewicz and Marco Cavallari), designed for anyone wanting to understand and dance the fundamentals of tango music (phrasing, rhythm, accentuation, style). Workshops are sponsored by the Tango Society of Boston.

We will listen AND dance.

No partner necessary. Mixed levels, especially appropriate for newer dancers as there will be no new figures involved. Two instructors assure ample one-on-one interaction. Bring comfortable dance sneakers or practice shoes.
Dates: Sundays, Jan. 12, 19, 26, Feb. 2
Time: 2:00pm to 3:30pm
Location: Dance Union, 16 Bow St., Union Square, Somerville
Discounted Pre-Registration price: $65 (four classes):  paypal,
Drop-in Price per class: $23/$20 students

Free parking weekends at the Citizen’s Bank lot across the street

More information, write to:

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