Bio

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michael zisman is one of todays great talents on his instrument – the bandoneon, a unique reed instrument, famous for it’s deeply melancholic and warm sound is mainly known from argentinian tango music. zisman not only inherited the soul of tango but has also implemented and explored the traditional jazz language on his instrument, like no other player up to date.

at his relatively young age zisman has already realized an astonishing career including projects and recordings with renowned artists such as chick corea, al di meola, paquito d’rivera, billy cobham, bert joris, dado moroni, franco ambrosetti, antonio farao, mark soskin, adrian iaies, gustavo bergalli, heiri kaenzig, matthieu michel, daniel piazzolla, pablo aslan, giora feidman and many more, aswell as with his own ensembles.

michael was born in switzerland in 1982 and holds both the swiss and argentinian citizenship. far from his original home country argentina he started to play the bandoneon. he recieved his first bandoneon lesson at age 8 from daniel binelli, former band member of late great argentinian bandoneonist and composer astor piazzolla. michael recieved his first own instrument, brought to him from argentina by his grandfather, the very same night that piazzolla passed away in 1992.

in his childhood years he learned music mainly from his father daniel zisman, noted violin soloist and composer. after learning the instrument mostly self taught alongside his colleague peter gneist in berne, switzerland he began his musical studies in buenos aires at age 13 with nestor marconi, bandoneon and juan c. cirigliano (former pianist of astor piazzolla), composition.

He made his first public appearance at age 11 together with tango legends leopoldo federico and atilio stampone, as a surprise guest in geneva, 1993.

he debuted on the big stage a year later as part of his fathers tango ensemble in an event called “tous les violons du monde” presented by yehudi menuhin. he realized his argentinian debut in buenos aires at age 13 with legendary tango violinist szymsia bajour who had been a member of the very first astor piazzolla quintett in the early 1960s.

Alongside his father daniel zisman, michael has realized a vast number of records aswell as toured the world in various formations and as a soloist with both symphonic and chamber orchestras.

after returning from argentina he completed his studies with a masters degree in composition & arrangement at the swiss jazz school where he had the luck to study with great artists such as bert joris, andy scherrer, frank sikora, billy brooks, klaus wagenleiter, klaus könig a.o. over the years he recieved various master classes e.g.

with leopoldo federico, jim mcneely, osvaldo ruggiero, roberto lara and daniel schnyder.
aside from an extensive standard repertoire in both tango and jazz, michael specializes in the music of his great role model astor piazzolla.

as a soloist he has performed among others with great orchestras such as the israel philharmonic orchestra, the brussels jazz orchestra, the odense symphony orchestra, the boston mit symphony orchestra, the swiss jazz orchestra and appeared at numerous international venues and festivals such as jazz at lincoln center, jazz in marciac, menuhin fesitval gstaad, baltica jazzfestival, trieste international tango festival, estival jazz lugano, notti di luce bergamo, tango festival wuppertal, festival trayectos zaragoza, bandoenon festival krefeld, international jazzfestivals berne and zurich, kiev tango festival, etc.

in 2007 michael zisman was awarded 1st prize in the bandoneon solo category of the international accordeon competition in klingenthal, germany.