Astor Piazzolla

Musician, composer, and bandoneonist (1921 – 1992)

Astor Piazzolla was born in 1921 in Mar del Plata, 420 kilometers south from Buenos Aires. As a big tango and music innovator, he transferred tango from night clubs of Buenos Aires to concert auditoriums.

As a 13 old boy he went to New York, where he was picked for a role in “El Dia Que Me Quieres,” the movie by the great Carlos Gardel. When he had returned to Argentina, he played in the famous Anibal Troilo’s band. After he was shocked with Troilo’s death in 1975, Piazzolla composed Suite Troileana. Because of the bad political situation in Argentina at the time, he leaves to Paris in 1970. In 1976, he formed the tango quintet "Quinteto Tango Nuevo", which consisted of Fernando Suares Paz, Pablo Ziegler, Horacio Malvicino, Hector Console, and Piazzolla himself.

It is interesting that he composed a series of musicals as an allusion of the World Soccer Championship in Argentina, which was "fixed" by the dictatorial regime in Argentina in 1976. At that time he had received a scholarship to continue his education with Natalie Boulanger, in Paris. Boulanger encouraged him to discover his talent and to commit to tango.

Piazzolla’s tango is not just dance music; his tango is influenced by jazz and classical music, and more appropriate for concert auditoriums than dance halls.

Besides many concert compositions, music for more than forty movies, Piazzolla has composed numerous short works – which from many could not be characterized as tango. He passed away in 1992, in Buenos Aires, after many heart related problems.

Astor Piazzolla is one of the greatest composers of the twentieth century.

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