Opening Rialto Theatre’s February calendar is a unique celebration of Astor Piazzolla’s 100th birthday. The musicians of the Carel Kraayenhof Quartet will travel to Cyprus to present a special performance on the Rialto Theatre stage on February 3 in honour of the great Argentine tango composer, bandoneon player and arranger.

“For bandoneonist Carel Kraayenhof,” say organisers, “Astor Piazzolla is a musical godfather, a true hero who has influenced and shaped his whole life. From that first moment in that hotel room, when Piazzolla asked Kraayenhof: ‘Play me something, boy’, the love was mutual. The life of the great Dutchman with his Argentinian heartbeat will forever be linked to the genius Argentinian Maestro. As the father of the tango nuevo, Piazzolla personally invited Carel to solo in his Tango Apasionado. Kraayenhof’s performance at the Dutch royal wedding left many people deeply moved by Piazzolla’s melancholy and powerful music.

“If Carel is Piazzolla’s musical child, then bass player Jaap Branderhorst and violinist Bert Vos are his grandchildren. Pianist Juan Pablo Dobal, from Buenos Aires, also had a warm relationship with Piazzolla’s music at a young age. He accompanied Amelita Baltar, Astor’s lover and first interpreter of his ballads and songs.

“These four tangueros,” conclude the organisers, “have been travelling the world together for more than ten years, with their Sexteto Canyengue and the Carel Kraayenhof Ensemble. They also recorded eight CDs together. They have now formed the Carel Kraayenhof Quartet, especially for this concert programme. In 100 years of Piazzolla, instrumental treasures alternate with colourful personal stories from Carel and his musical compañeros.”

That and many more special occasions will add colour and rhythm to Rialto Theatre in February. Live recorded broadcasts from Andre Rieu’s concerts and the National Theatre Live presenting one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays will take place in February alongside screenings of awarded Greek short films. Cypriot comedies, performances by the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, new plays and even a carnival-themed concert party are also coming up next month as the country, and especially Limassol, prepares for the comeback of its beloved annual carnival.

100 Years of Astor Piazzolla

Carel Kraayenhof Quartet performs live to celebrate the composer’s 100th birthday. February 3. Rialto Theatre, Limassol. 8.30pm. €20.