Originally from Argentina, he took his first steps amidst the rehearsals and instruments of his parents' group, Los Hermanos Simon. In that country coddled by the sun, life beats out to the rhythms of the Argentine folklore that echoes across Simon's native region. With its wealth of musicians, singers and poets, Santiago del Estero is considered the capital of traditional music.

In the shade of the carob trees, powerful symbol of gathering, and surrounded by his family's musical get-togethers, Victor, barely one year old, grabbed his father's drum and tapped out with his little hands an immediately recognizable traditional rhythm. He started playing the guitar at the age of five, and took up the piano at about the same age. Already, almost as if by happenstance, the notes seem to line up, and a tune takes shape; already, the composer and the performer are one and the same.

Victor's passion for the piano leads him away from his home to the university of Cordoba, where he studies composition and performance, and where he spends ten years. Even while he gives chamber-music performances, the tango and the folklores of Argentine stay close to his heart. While working with the Ballet Folklórico Latinoamericano, he discovers and participates in festivals in Bolivia and in Chile; his wanderer's spirit eventually brings him to the Festival de Folklore de Drummondville, in small-town Quebec and, in the steel embrace of the Jacques-Cartier bridge, he falls in love with Montreal. A concert of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra featuring the acclaimed Argentine pianist Martha Argerich reaffirms Victor Simon's commitment to music. That same evening, in a creative outpouring, feeling the immutable pulse of his Argentine roots, and without possibly imagining the outcome of such a choice, he decides to make Quebec his home.

That fateful year, 1997, Victor Simon is immersed in the thousand and one musical nights of his adoptive city, and his work emerges with new sparks and nuances. His multicultural background and his sensitivity to human experience hone his skills as a subtle, responsive pianist. He develops strong relationships with other musicians, finding in those friendships and collaborations the warmth, community and artistry of his childhood. His Ensemble Montréal Tango, founded in 1998, comes out of that community.

Far from home, the tango takes on a potency and a significance that only distance can confer. Tristera, one of Victor's most evocative compositions, is redolent of expatriate nostalgia even while it exults in the unfolding possibilities of the new country. Victor composes and arranges his work for the trio, which grows into a quintet for the Festival International de Lanaudière. Audiences in Quebec, in Canada and abroad are hooked on the group's live performances and on their recordings. Victor Simon also takes part in the American and European tours of the Forever Tango and Amador companies, accompanies Quebec artists such as the Cirque du Soleil's Johanna Bluteau and works with the Venezuelan singer Soraya Benitez, for whom he arranges four albums.

Exile, that sublime paradox, eventually brings him back to his roots, more deeply still than before, to the generation that emigrated from the Middle East to Argentina. Victor Simon's new project, "TangOriental," finds its musical footing in a new ensemble, with a repertoire that brings together the tango, its musical ancestry, and the rhythms of the Middle East. In this imaginative, flavourful intermingling, Victor Simon reaches back though his heritage, running its percussive rhythms unbridled while preserving the tango's unique temper. This musical crossroads is at the core of Victor Simon's art.