Dr. Bárbara Varassi Pega
I was born in Rosario, Argentina, in 1977. I work as a pianist, arranger, composer, music professor and researcher, giving also conferences, seminars and workshops on (tango) music and artistic research. I am currently a lecturer and artistic research coach for the Master of Music at Fontys University of Fine and Performing Arts, Tilburg; and artistic research coach for the Master of Music at Codarts University of the Arts, Rotterdam, both in The Netherlands. My activities are mostly based in Europe (mainly Italy and The Netherlands, where I currently reside) and Argentina. Since 2009, I have the privilege of having at my place in Rotterdam a beautiful Bösendorfer grand piano that belongs to the Muziek Instrumenten Fonds collection (www.muziekinstrumentenfonds.nl).
Due to my musical aims and the desire to discover new horizons, I left my homeland after university. My education has been therefore accomplished in several countries, namely Argentina, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium and France. Firstly, I obtained a Bachelor Piano Degree with pedagogical specialization at the “Instituto Provincial del Profesorado de Musica” (IPPM) in my home city in 1998, while studying piano with Prof. Alicia Belleville in Buenos Aires. In 2000, I won a scholarship by the “Istituto Italiano di Cultura”, Italian Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to fulfil advanced piano studies in Milan, Italy, where I obtained a Bachelor Piano Degree at the “Conservatorio Statale di Musica Giuseppe Verdi” in 2003.
In 2009, I completed a Master Piano Degree at “Codarts University of the Arts”, Tango Department, World Music Academy, The Netherlands, with an artistic research entitled “Musical Arrangements in Tango: an Encounter with their Creators”. This triggered my interest in research and my will to continue digging into tango musical creation, which was further realized as a PhD trajectory under the docARTES programme at the Orpheus Institute, Gent, Belgium and Leiden University, The Netherlands. My written dissertation entitled “Creating and Re-creating Tangos. Artistic Processes and Innovations in Music by Pugliese, Salgán, Piazzolla and Beytelmann” was presented in December 2014 in a three-day event including a concert, an international symposium I organized myself and the public defense proper. In both occasions (Master and PhD), Maestro Gustavo Beytelmann was my artistic supervisor. Lastly, in June 2015, I obtained a diploma in composition at the “Conservatoire de musique, de danse et d'art dramatique du Pays de Montbéliard”, France, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Jacopo Baboni Schilingi.
Parallel to my academic training, I have played tango music since an early age, starting out in the two most important tango youth orchestras in my city: the “Orquesta Juvenil de Tango del IPPM” conducted by Javier Martinez Lo Ré and Pepe Ferrer, and the “Orquesta de Tango de la Universidad Nacional de Rosario”, conducted by famous bandoneon player and composer Domingo Federico. I have later founded, integrated and conducted several tango ensembles, with which I have extensively toured Argentina and Europe, and recorded diverse CD's.
You can know more about my artistic life and watch and listen my music by clicking PROJECTS on this page.
I speak perfect Spanish and Italian, very good English and basic French and Dutch.