musicians tango orchestra

Octavio Brunetti (1975-2014) - Pianist

Octavio BrunettiOctavio Brunetti was PASO's tango pianist from 2006 and his addition brought a new level of musicianship to the orchestra. Perhaps the best tango pianist in the United States, Brunetti studied classical piano at the National School of Music in his home town of Rosario, Argentina. Before he graduated, he was already performing a variety of music styles. But his love for the tango prevailed and soon he was playing with many of Argentina’s most important tango musicians and singers, such as Alberto Castillo, Eladia Blazquez, Ruben Juarez, Domingo Federico, Rodolfo Mederos, Osvaldo Piro, Horacio Salgan-De Lio, and Atilio Stampone.

He co-arranged the piece Levante by the famous Argentine Osvaldo Golijov and, while still quite young, he performed at the world-famous Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires and the Teatro San Martin in Buenos Aires, in addition to performances at Teatro San Martin in Cordoba, Argentina. In 2002, he was named conductor of the Provincial Orchestra of Popular Music in Cordoba, Argentina. After an extensive European tour with this orchestra, Brunetti decided to move to the United States where his participation in New York’s International Tango Competition won him two first prizes: Best Solo Pianist and Best Duo.

He toured with his own band, the Octavio Brunetti Quintet, and was one of the most sought after tango pianists of our times. His recordings include Saludos with Domingo Federico, Tierra y Asfalto by Brunetti-Carballo, and Inquietudes with the Omar Torres Quintet. Brunetti recorded Soledad (Astor Piazzolla) with world-renowned cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, after which Yo-Yo Ma was quoted as saying that “within minutes [of playing with Mr. Brunetti] it felt as if we’d been playing together for years.” (CD Appassionato by Sony BMG-Classical).

Brunetti played at Lincoln Center in New York, the Tango and Malambo Festival in Santa Barbara, California, the Granada Festival in Spain, the World Music Festival in Providence, Rhode Island and the Boston Tango Festival. He toured in Germany, Holland, Switzerland, Japan, Peru, and Mexico. He was composing his own tangos for a recording with the Pan American Symphony Orchestra when he passed away in August 2014 from a sudden illness.

Diana LeGrand - Concertmaster

Diana LeGrandDiana LeGrand, from Assisi, Italy, started her music studies at age two and a half, learning from her mother, a teacher of violin and piano. At age 15, she was accepted to the North Carolina School of the Arts (NCSA) where she studied under the late Elaine Richey, formerly the first violinist of the Razamousky Quartet.

She received both her Bachelor and Masters degrees in Violin Performance and continued her studies at NCSA with Robert Mann, one of the founding members of the Julliard String Quartet, and with Nicholas Mann, the second violinist of the Mendelssohn String Quartet. Returning to Italy, Diana continued her music studies at the Conservatory of Modena, receiving with honors her diploma in Violin Performance. Over the years, she has studied with such notable violinists as Vadim Brodsky, the Russian virtuoso, Paola Besutti from Florence, Italy, and the late Emmanuel Hurwitz, first violinist of the Aeolian String Quartet.

Before moving to the Washington, DC area with her husband in 2005, Diana performed in a variety of concerts in Italy and toured Europe as a soloist. She performs throughout the Washington, DC area as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player, and is currently the concertmaster of the Pan American Symphony Orchestra.

Dorotea Racz - Violoncello

DoroteaCroatian cellist, Dorotea Racz, has performed extensively throughout Europe, Asia, as well as North and South America, in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Mozarteum in Salzburg. Festival appearences include Washington's European Month of Culture, International Festival "Umbria Classica", Rovinj Festival, and PagArt Festival. An ardent chamber musician, Racz is a founding member of Racz-Samogray Duo and Ensemble Accendo.

Her solo and chamber music preformances have been broadcast on HRT Radio and Television.  Racz has collected over thirty top prizes at competitions such as the International Competition "Casarza Ligure", International Competition "Antonio Janigro", for young cellists, and International Competition "Valsesia Musica" to mention a few. Recent highlights include a tour of South America, with recitals in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Santiago, Chile, and Lima, Peru.

Racz was awarded a full merit scholarship at the age of sixteen to study with Amit Peled at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, where she completed her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in music. She completed her Doctorate in music at the Catholic University of America, in the studio of Michael Mermagen. Based in Washington, DC, Racz is the co-director of Audeamus International Music Festival in her hometown, Zagreb.

Jason Solounias - Pianist

jason soulanisAward-winning pianist Jason Solounias has distinguished himself as a multi-dimensional musician. He is passionate about inspiring new generations of musicians and is dedicated to community engagement and education.

With performances across the United States and Europe, ranging from the Kennedy Center to Southwark Cathedral, Solounias is equally comfortable in the classical world as he is as a jazz and session musician. Recent engagements include performances at Steinway Hall, Ward Recital Hall, WETA, Concerts from Kirkwood Series, and the Lisner Auditorium. He is also a member of the Washington Piano Society.

An active proponent of new music, Solounias has collaborated with composers including Melissa Dunphy, Mark Cook, Maurice Saylor, Luke Flynn, and Elizabeth Lim, making appearances in the New Voices Festival, Society of Composers Inc., and the Alliance for New Music Theater. Solounias has worked with pedagogues including Leon Fleisher, John Perry, Jim Litzelman, and Jose Ramos Santana. Currently, he lives in Washington D.C. where obtained his Doctoral Degree in piano performance at the Catholic University of America. He is also a proud faculty member at the Opal Music Studio in Alexandria, Virginia.



Valerie Heller


Christina Wan


Carrie Carlson


Javier Godinez


Mary Thulson*


Pamela Duran


Anna Boissen


Susan Worrel


Anna Sammel


Madison Lee



Kristin Gomez*


June Hahn


Eduardo Matus


Lesley Hogg



Johanna Taylor


Michael Hermann


Tim Thulson

Double Bass


Pete Ostle*