In memoriam Aldo Martinig

Yesterday, Wednesday March 12, Aldo Martinig died in the St. Pieter hospital in Brussels, after a short illness. He was only 55 years old. 

Aldo Martinig was a much loved and talented pianist. He had a long career in the worlds of pop, rock, groove and jazz. He was a member of the Brussels Jazz Band and accompanied many artists, such as Ribeiro + Alpes and Salvatore Adamo. For many years he toured the world with Adamo. 

We know Aldo mostly as the accompanist of the ballet classes in PARTS. This year 2013-2014 is the 19th school year of PARTS. During all these years, we could count on Aldo’s playing. He is the only teacher/accompanist who has been engaged in the full trajectory of PARTS, from the earliest start until today. He already was the accompanist in the four long workshops that preceded the opening of PARTS in 1995.  

Aldo Martinig was the accompanist of a long series of ballet teachers in PARTS: Douglas Becker, Benoît Caussé, Elizabeth Corbett, Simon DeMowbray, Paul Estabrook, Libby Farr, Ivan Kramar, Tracy Owens, Janet Panetta, Jorge Salavisa, John Wisman, and many others. Aldo was a professional pur sang. A teacher could always count on him, on his discipline and dedication. As a pianist, Aldo always put his musicality in service of the class. He did not accompany for his own pleasure or success, but to support the dance exercises in the clearest possible way.

All dancers who have studied at PARTS, and there are many hundreds of them, have known and worked with Aldo. For many hours, he accompanied them on the piano as they were working on their dance technique. They will all remember the professional and charming way Aldo performed his role. He turned the potentially boring task of accompanying or steering exercising dancers into a celebration. With bravery he drew from a large repertoire of both classical music and popular rock or pop songs. His playing supported the dancer to execute the exercise correctly and at the same time it offered an adrenaline punch that always made the class end on a high.

We will miss Aldo Martinig dearly. We’ll miss the way he filled our building with music from the early morning on, his warmth, his humor and personal attentions, and most of all the evident professionalism we could always count on.

His last classes in PARTS were only a few weeks ago. Two weeks before he died Aldo got ill. A few days later he went into a coma, from which he has not waken up anymore.

We send our sincere condolence to his family and friends, especially to his wife, children and grandchildren.


The direction, staff, teachers and students of PARTS
Brussels, 13 March, 2014 

The funeral of Aldo will be held on thursday March 20, at 10.45am in the Church of the holy Trinity in Ixelles (Parvis de la Trinité). Look right for more details.

Aldo Martinig - photo Bart GrietensAldo Martinig - photo Bart Grietens


Some memories of teachers and students who have worked with him:

Having Aldo play for us was a gift.  
Aldo was an essential of the P.A.R.T.S. experience.  His passing has left us devastated.  
We were all lucky to have such a hugely talented, independent irascible artist accompany our classes.  It made the participants more musical and less academic without them ever noticing how they were being affected.  
The lightness, humor and sparkle in his playing will stay in our memories fondly forever.  
Janet Panetta, ballet teacher in PARTS since 1995

One of the memories of my parts existence that fills me with the most of nostalgia:starting ballet class with Aldo's famous 'Aldo-songs', who soften the earliness of the morning, take away the thoughts and sorrows of elsewhere and take you into ballet mode telling your body it's all ok. Then a big crescendo towards 'I like to be in America' for the big jump diagonal: Aldo playing with his whole relativizing but enthusiastic self, all of us singing, clapping, shouting and jumping along. Small pleasures, but intense moments of happiness for me...
Frauke Mariën, student 2000-2004

Aldo was always following what we were doing intently and, if you would catch his eye before a difficult passage in class, he would always follow you and help you with his piano… He would also make some suspensions last longer in order to challenge you, he was the dreamed pianist-companion for ballet classes…
I will keep the memory of him laughing away behind his piano.
Alix Eynaudi, student 1995-1997

Aldo Martinig had dancing fingers, a superb artist, a dear colleague and one of the truly great bon vivants, he will be terribly missed and long remembered. Befittingly, he taught with his stunning musicianship a great many dancer, and teacher how and what music for dance class should, at its highest level, be.
Douglas Becker, ballet teacher in PARTS since 1997 

Aldo always had a way to lift up the spirit in ballet classes by playing ever so skillfully on the piano. Playing surprisingly 'happy birthday' whenever a student or a teacher had a birthday and humorously quoting famous pop songs during exercises making the students laugh and sing along while doing tendus or adagio.
Vedis Kjartansdottir, student 2008-2012

La nouvelle de la disparition d'Aldo m'inflige une grande tristesse. Je l'ai rencontré lors de mes études à l'école de danse PARTS où Aldo officiait comme accompagnateur auprès des professeurs de danse classique et occupait ce rôle depuis la création de l'école. La musique d'Aldo est une  'Madeleine de Proust' lorsqu'il est question de l'école. Il suffisait d'entendre quelques notes du 'Pull Marine' (Adjani/Gainsbourg) pour qu'avant même de s'engager dans ce long couloir distribuant les studios, quiconque ayant passé quelques années à PARTS retrouve celui qu'il était avant de quitter ces lieux.  En quelques secondes nous faisions de nouveau partie de cette communauté qui semblait immuable.  La musique d'Aldo persistait aussi sûrement que les fondations du bâtiment. Elle avait imprégnée nos mémoires et nos corps.
Son espièglerie égayait cette routine , quitte à être 'a lovely pain in the ass' parfois. Elle manquera certainement à celles et ceux qui travaillent dans cette école et je n'en doute pas, à beaucoup d'autres.
Toutes mes condoléances à sa famille et ses proches. 
Etienne Guilloteau, student 1998-2002

Aldo was a unique person whose love for life came through in his music . He inspired the students and myself to be better . I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work and know him these 15 years . His passing is a great loss for us all , we will miss him but his music will play in our hearts and minds forever . 
Libby Farr, ballet teacher in PARTS sinds 1999 

I hope that Aldo is at peace and that he is brightening up some angels' day with his cheerful tunes whilst taking their early morning ballet class. Just like he managed to do with mine. Glissades and pirouettes from a dark corner will never be the same without Aldo's lovely smile behind his piano.  He will be missed.
Moya Michael, student 1997-2000

PARTS without Aldo is really hard to picture. His music always welcomed everyone in the morning, made us be part of his uplifting universe. As a PARTS student I remember letting myself go thanks to his melodies full of joy. As a ballet teacher I will never forget the easiness, the jokes and the talent that he generously gave to me and therefore to the classes I had the pleasure to teach with him by the piano.
I will definitely miss him.
I will miss the musician but above that the human being.
Marta Coronado, student 1996-1998 and ballet teacher

Aldo was a curious and loving character.  Conversations with him by the side of the piano, waiting to go across the floor in a ballet class, were part of the day's flow.  On the difficult days, they could be the only thing that seemed to flow.
In my 14 years of taking ballet classes, Aldo was the only pianist I'd met who influenced a class as much as the teacher.  Most of the teachers seemed to know this, and Aldo got along well with the ones who did. 
Aldo's presence was undeniably unique- it came through in the simplest pieces of music he played, and the shortest conversations we had by the side of the piano- and it will be undeniably missed.
Andros Zins-Browne, student 2002-2006

Aldo, you inspired me.  Without you I could never have been a ballet pianist.  Your amazing musicality was and is the source for my ambition to work in PARTS the past 6 years, though considering your modesty you would have never believed this. As a musician you had this rare gift of being able to play a melody as if it was for the first time.  You could tenderly touch a piano as if you were holding a newborn baby.  You could play that particular groove that makes people smile on a monday morning. Your sense of humor was a sunbeam on a grey Belgian-weather day.  Life, love & music ...I will never forget you.
- Salut Pieter, ça va? 
- Hier j'ai joué comme un fou, j'ai pas dormi. Mes doigts sont fatigués.
- Moi je vais fumer.
- Mais qu'est-ce qu'il y a aujourd'hui, où sont des femmes?
- Le bistrot là au coin Pieter, on y mange très bien.
- Si tu enregistres la classe Pieter, tu me payes un steak, d'accord?
- On s'en fout de tout, Pieter. Il faut juste suivre les danseurs, c'est tout. Tu sais, pour eux, chaque matin ils ont une classe, c'est très dur.  C'est pour ça qu'il faut créer de la fête, de l'ambiance. On s'en fout.
- Encore 40 minutes, j'suis fatigué comme un chien.
- Encore 2 minutes.
- Ben, bon weekend Pieter, à lundi.
Salut Aldo ... bonne route et amuse-toi bien.
Pieter Smout, accompanist in PARTS since 2008

Truly sad news.... no one could make a gray morning seem a bit brighter like this man behind his piano. No one else could get you moving with such joy, jumping in the air like a bird or spinning like a crazy top, even after a night with no sleep... or just pull you through a phrase with his great sense of rhythm. Aldo's playing had soul. He will be missed. RIP
Ula Sickle, student 2000-2004

Aldo, I had a wonderful experience with you and your music for four years. It's full of joy, humor and happiness. The way you playing piano contains a state of ease. It has become an image of you in my heart. I'll never forget it. And this image of you encourages me to keep moving forward. Miss you! RIP
Guo Rui, student 2006-2010

Aldo was simply an amayzing piano accompanist. His presence in the class, his humour, his fantastic talent made every ballet class a true pleasure. I always felt so privileged to have such artist playing in our classes. I remember loving every single time he played the now famous music he created for the "plies". I hear it in my head as I am writing right now.Enchanting!
Eléonore Valère-Lachky, student 2000-2004

He made ballet danceable, and mornings fun. Thank you Aldo, you'll be remembered. Rest in peace.
Jurij Konjar, student 1998-2000

Tant d'hymnes nationaux joués pour les jolies filles de P.A.R.T.S, tant d'huîtres et de vin blanc au châtelain, de swing, de moments passés à la maison, de "mais nan, mais nan, t'inquiète t'inquiète, on s'en fout (le tout dit extrêmement  vite) j'vais t' jouer un truc tu vas voir"... Tant de générosité et de lumière en toi Aldo que tu nous offrais chaque jour. Combien de générations de P.A.R.T.S tu as fait danser! Va mon ami, bon voyage et "t'inquiète, t'inquiète, on s'en fout on se r´trouve là-bas"
Lodie Kardouss, student 2004-2006

Comme accompagnateur à Parts, je ne voyais que rarement Aldo. Nous nous croisions tout de même parfois à la pause cigarette-soleil, lorsque nous nous partagions les accompagnements des deux classes du matin. Plusieurs fois, lors de mes débuts à Parts, je suis venu pour l'écouter et j'aimais la façon dont il mélangeait Bach et Walt Disney au cours de la même classe. Il est évident que les étudiants adoraient Aldo. Non seulement pour sa musique : il était également une oreille, un regard, une présence irremplaçable, une personne à l'aura particulière. Je me souviens de l'humour, la légèreté, l'aisance avec laquelle Aldo jouait au piano, une légèreté et une espièglerie qu'on retrouvait sans doute dans tous les aspects de sa vie. Aldo était parfaitement professionnel sans pour autant se prendre au sérieux, ce qui est plutôt rare. Aldo, bien que nous ne nous connaissions peu, l'annonce de ta mort m'a bouleversé. D'où tu es, tu nous écouteras peut-être, Pieter, moi et d'autres, faire de notre mieux pour continuer de faire danser les étudiants de Parts. Un musicien aussi professionnel et aussi humain que toi ne peut que nous manquer.
François Chamaraux, pianist at PARTS since 2007.

Aldo was my dear friend and I was always happy to see him, while a student and after.  Aldo would love to tell me his escapades from the weekend before during our cigarette breaks in between ballet classes, and I will always cherish his way of laughing at any situation.  He will always be remembered as a "bon vivant", to which I am grateful for his moments of cheering me up when I couldn't see past the ballet bar.  When you think about it, Aldo made all those generations dance, day after
day. Grazie, Aldo per averci accompagnato tanto.
Domenico Giustino, student 2000-2004

I met Aldo in 1997, when I was working with David Zambrano in an improvisation workshop as well with Douglas Becker, Janet Panetta, Elizabeth Corbett and some other wonderful friends while I was figuring out wether to stay there or not in Brussels. We both accompanied Janet and Douglas and, because of that, we used to talk a lot about music, the roll of the musician in the dancer education, the different repertory we both played and above of all our concern for our work and how fortunate we consider ourselves for being part of the joy of dance and music. That was the last time I saw him. Nevertheless I always ask about him to Theo, David, Libby, Janet, Marta, Martin, Lali, Elizabeth during Impulstanz Wien Dance Festival. They would tell me wonderful things about his delicate, passionate and joyful melodies. I send you a deep hug to his family, and to all of you in P.A.R.T.S who had the great luck to have what a real accompanist should be.
Luis Carmona

 Dear Aldo,this news made me think of you again.Remember the day when you asked me if I had the nail clipper? You had too long nails and you were irritated before the class.I told you how you can sharpen them on the naked bricks of the parts wall.I remember how your face brightened and how much you thanked me for that.Perhaps you brightened me every time in the ballet class with your attendance, your music was not only a BGM but where I could touch the art of one-ness of dance and music, which is very important treasure you have given to me. You were very gifted artist. And we are gifted to have you in our life study for art. As I often did, and I will be humming your melody when I do the daily ballet exercise instead of thanking you many times for your gift. Forget me and everything, leave in peace now.
Fukiko Kano, student 2008-2010

Dear Aldo, It has been quite some time, the days that I was dancing in that PARTS class. Almost 17 (!) years – and I haven’t taken any ballet class since. But I remember these mornings with warmth. You were the best. Every time, every day, again and again you played your music with musicality. You made us jump, bend, lift and fly (sometimes J). You always had a little special word, a little special attention, a strange face when I was taking it all too serious. You made me smile. Again and again. Good memories. Thank you. Anabel Schellekens, student 1995-1997


Anyone who would like to send a message to Aldo’s family, feel free to write something and send it to Lief Bigaré (, who will forward it to the family

Funeral Aldo Martinig

The funeral of Aldo Martinig will be held on Thursday March 20 at 10.45am, at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Ixelles (Parvis de la Trinité, Ixelles).

Please note the correct address, which was put wrongly in previous versions of this message: Parvis de la Trinité, Ixelles.

We received the following message from his family:

Bonjour a tous, ALDO nous a quitté ce mercredi 12 mars 2014. Sa famille vous est infiniment reconnaissante de votre accompagnement et présence en ces moments difficiles. Nous gardons en mémoire sa joie de vivre, son humour infatigable, son humanité et son immense talent musical. Une chaîne solidaire et amicale est lancée afin de privilégier un témoignage d affection, en terme de soutien financier, qui remplacera fleurs et couronnes. En toute liberté, sur le compte bancaire de Lionel Verjans: 001-3368014-56 (avec mention "a l attention d'Aldo"). Les funérailles se dérouleront ce jeudi, 20 mars 2014 a 10h45 a l'Eglise Paroissiale de la Sainte Trinité, Parvis  de la Trinité, 1050 Bruxelles. S'en suivra l'enterrement au cimetière d'Ixelles, 428 Chaussée de Boondael, 1050 Bruxelles. Merci pour cette belle amitié, pour ces moments de vie partagés avec lui. Jérôme Munafo et Capucine (pour sa compagne Sandra Mehu et sa famille Martinig-Verjans-Marville).