Owen Salomé is an Australian composer, multi-instrumentalist and educator currently based in the Argentine city of Buenos Aires. Born into a musical family in regional Victoria in the south of Australia, Owen started his musical journey playing traditional Anglo Celtic music on the tin whistle and flute. As an adolescent, Owen developed an eclectic musical taste including: jazz, Latin American musical styles, traditional music of the Balkans and Eastern Europe and jazz manouche.
Having also composed from a young age, at 17 Owen was the winner of the inaugural Sibelius Composition Competition for his composition Deep Fish which was subsequently performed by the Australian contemporary chamber group Ensemble Offspring. Owen studied composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he graduated with first class honours.
Owen was a founding member and artistic director of the successful Australian tango ensemble Tángalo who were recipients of a $20,000 JUMP mentorship from the Australian Council for the Arts, allowing them to travel to Buenos Aires for extensive study. During this period in Buenos Aires, Owen commenced study on the bandoneón – the chromatic concertina used extensively in Argentine tango and folkloric music.
In 2018 Owen was the recipient of two further grants for personal artistic development, which allowed him to relocate to Buenos Aires to study intensively. In Buenos Aires Owen has studied bandoneón with Ramiro Boero, Milagros Caliva, Santiago Segret, Santiago Arias and Federico Pereiro. Owen has also studied tango arranging with Pablo Estigarríbia, Andres Pilar, and Ramiro Gallo. Owen has received commissions as a composer from numerous ensembles, including a 2019 commission to compose the music for a ballet from the renowned Australian artist Ken Unsworth.
In 2021 his trio, Guanaco Trio, were awarded a large grant from Argentina’s national music-funding body, the INAMU, to record their debut studio album, Bajo un Mismo Cielo, for release in February of 2023 with the Argentine record label Shagadra Medra. Guanaco Trio presented the CD in live performances in Europe at the Tarbes en Tango (France) and the World Music Festival Bratislava (Slovakia) festivals, and also in numerous concerts in Catalunya in August of 2022.
In 2022 Owen was selected to participate in the 16th iteration of the 2 year ‘Orquesta Escuela Emilio Balcarce’ tango program in the city of Buenos Aires, the first ever Australian bandoneonist to win a position in the orchestra.
In 2022, along with the Brisbane Tango Orchestra, Owen was recipient of an Australia Council for the Arts, and QLD Arts grants for a project in February 2023. Owen has been commissioned to compose 12 new pieces of music for the orchestra and will perform them with the orchestra as guest soloist in a series of concerts in February of 2023. For details about these concerts click here.
Owen is a fluent Spanish speaker.