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Ethan Lazarus (cello) and Carl Algermissen (piano)Carl Algermissen (piano) and Ethan Lazarus (cello) met in 1984 in Colorado, and developed a friendship rooted in a shared passion for music.  In the coming decades, they would perform classical music for piano and cello, including Beethoven, Bach, Popper, Saint-Saëns, Vivaldi and others.  Their first foray into jazz music culminated in an outdoor performance at the Stutler Bowl in Greenwood Village, Colorado, in front of a crowd of thousands.

In 1992, they discovered the music of Astor Piazzolla.  In his lifetime, Piazzolla wrote just one piece of music for piano and cello: Le Grand Tango.  After months of searching for the published score, Mr. Algermissen and Dr. Lazarus were able to obtain the sheet music via special order from Argentina, and the journey to discover and explore the music of Astor Piazzolla began.  Piazzolla’s musical style combined the passion of tango with classical undercurrents and chord structures of modern jazz to create unique new expression of music.  The soul of this music shaped made a lasting impact, forever shaping the duo’s approach to their music, arrangements, and performances.

Not content to play just one tango for piano and cello, Mr. Algermissen and Dr. Lazarus took on the challenge of writing scores of new arrangements other Piazzolla compositions.  They dedicated themselves to meet one evening a week over the course of several years to write, practice and record these arrangements and transcriptions.  This endeavor was celebrated in Evenings with Astor, their debut CD, which was professionally produced and released in 2003.  Evenings with Astor consists entirely of original arrangements and transcriptions.  Coinciding with the CD release, the first performance of these works was given on June 7th, 2003, as part of a performing arts series in Denver, Colorado.

Their second CD, Street Tango, was released in 2018.

Notable performances since then have included venues such as the Annual Gala for the March of Dimes Foundation, local educational institutions, the American Medical Association inauguration gala in 2012, Music with a Mission concert series, performances at Temple Sinai (Denver), Yiddish Book Center (Amherst, Massachusetts), and the Holocaust Museum (Skokie, Illinois).

Mr. Algermissen and Dr. Lazarus have dedicated themselves to producing additional new arrangements of Piazzolla’s work.