Born: March 11, 1921, Mar del Plata Argentina
Died: July 4, 1992 Buenos Aires, Argentina
A few facts about Astor Piazzolla
- Piazzolla’s parents were Italian immigrants to Argentina. When he was four years old, they moved to New York. Young Astro grew up on the wild streets of Greenwich Village and despite a pronounced limp, learned to fend for himself.
- His father introduced him to the tango music of Carlos Gardel as well as jazz and his beloved Bach. In 1929 his father bought him his first bandoneon from a pawn shop in Little Italy.
- In 1935 the 14 years old met Gardel who invited him to join his band. However, fortunately, Piazzolla’s father forbade it. Gardel and his entire band were killed in a plane crash during a tour that June.
- After performing with several famous tango orchestras, he found the formula constricting and formed his own orchestra in 1946. However, he felt his future lay in classical music and went to Paris to study with the great Nadia Boulanger.
- It was Boulanger who, after hearing several of his tango pieces, encouraged him to pursue a composing career in tango. From that he developed the controversial nuevo tango that was to bring him world-wide recognition.