Mar del Plata, 1921 – Buenos Aires, 1992

Astor Piazzolla

An only child of Italian immigrants (his father, Vincente, from Puglia was called ‘nonino’ or grandfather by the sons of Astor and became the recipient of one of his most famous songs, Adios Nonino, written for the occasion of his passing), Piazzolla is considered one of the most important composers of the tango genre from the second half of the twentieth century, the first of which was dominated by the famous Carlos Gardel, in which he first introduced elements of jazz, avant-garde music (the use of dissonance for example) and pop (guitars, electric bass, Hammond organ and drums etc) that did not traditionally belong to the genre. His music attained worldwide success before it was fully accepted in Argentina. His collaborations with jazz musicians, singers or classical performers (from Gerry Mulligan to Mina) were seen as a heterodox by tango purists, but contributed greatly to the diffusion of his music; we now find Piazzola’s music performed in classical, jazz and pop concerts. From his vast array of musical works (over 3000) we particularly remember the concertos for bandoneon and orchestra and, of course, the famous Libertando of 1974.

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