The Pan American Symphony Orchestra (PASO) was founded 25 years ago by dynamic Argentine conductor and musician, Sergio Alessandro Buslje, with the objective of bringing Latin American symphonic music to Washington, DC area concert halls.  Maestro Buslje had studied and performed standard classical music for many years but noticed a gap in the area’s cultural offerings—Latin American culture was not being fully represented in area performances, and our Latin American neighbors to the South possess a treasure trove of symphonic works by talented composers that begged to be showcased. 

Now 25 years later, PASO continues to provide quality performances of music originating from Latin America with an on-going concert series that showcases gifted Latin American musicians and soloists.  With critical acclaim from the press and a loyal following from the public, PASO remains on the cutting edge of symphonic performances with newly commissioned works, such as Danzon no. 7, by eminent contemporary Mexican composer, Arturo Marquez, who dedicated this beautiful piece to Maestro Buslje.  The orchestra has dedicated a season to Latin American woman composers and was the first orchestra in the Washington, DC area to perform the unusual, but beautifully melodic, tango-opera Maria de Buenos Aires, by Astor Piazzolla.  The orchestra has featured rarely performed works by composers from Argentina, Honduras, Mexico, Ecuador, Cuba, and Brazil. 

PASO was the only US-based ensemble to participate in the prestigious two-week long Al-Bustan Music Festival in Beirut, Lebanon in 2012.  PASO also performed in Lima, Peru in 2010 and received such notable acclaim from the public, press and media, that in 2011, President Alan Garcia of Peru invited PASO to play a command performance at the Presidential Palace.   

When the Latino Inaugural Committee was looking for an orchestra that represents the rich culture of Latin America  to accompany all the music stars in a grand inaugural celebration for President Obama's 2012 victory, the Kennedy Center recommended PASO.  The January 2013 Latino Inaugural Celebration hosted by Eva Longoria featured Rita Moreno, Jose Feliciano, Prince Royce, opera sensation Juan Diego Florez, Broadway and TV star, Luis Esparza, among others, -- all accompanied by PASO.

PASO is well-known for its symphonic tango performances.  The only symphonic tango orchestra in the United States, PASO draws audiences from across the U.S. for its annual DC tango festival and its tango shows at the George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium. Maestro Buslje has arranged traditional tangos for symphony and brought the nuevo tango of Astor Piazzolla and his contemporaries to the concert hall. The best tango dancers and soloists from Buenos Aires to New York City have joined PASO musicians for these standing-room only shows.  As the United Nations recently designated tango as part of the world’s cultural heritage to be preserved and supported, PASO has taken its place among the great tango ensembles of the world.  


The first orchestra in the nation to focus solely on Latin American music, the Pan American Symphony Orchestra (PASO) combines artistic excellence with educational initiatives for the greater arts community.

PASO creates a unique and superlative artistic product by:

• Engaging the world’s great Latin American musicians, artists, composers to maintain artistic and cultural leadership within Washington, DC and the greater arts community

• Supporting under-funded youth orchestras and advising other orchestras in Latin America

• Developing and supporting innovative educational, mentoring and training programs for underserved children and youth in Washington, DC