11 March 1921, Mar de Plata, Argentina, d. 4 July 1992, Buenos Aires, Argentina. An immensely innovative player of the Argentinian bandonean (a close relation of the accordion), Piazzolla successfully took the instrument - and tango music in general - on to the international concert stage, without diluting its roots in the working-class dancehalls and dockland nightclubs of Buenos Aires.
Piazzolla moved to New York as a child, and at the age of 13 he was hired by Carlos Gardél (the undisputed king of classical tango) to play in the film, El Did Que Me Quieras. He then returned to Argentina to play in the band led by Anibal Tróila. When Tróila died, Piazzolla began his solo career, achieving massive success throughout the 50s and 60s. By this time he had won a government scholarship to study under Nadia Boulanger in Paris. Boulanger encouraged him to discover the possibilities of his own, native music, and he duly turned...
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