Google Doodle celebrates Argentine tango composer Astor Piazzolla’s 100th birthday

astor piazzolla 100th birthday

Google Doodle celebrates the 100th birthday of Argentine musician, tango composer, bandoneon player, and arranger Astor Piazzolla, who revolutionized traditional tango to create a hybrid genre known as “nuevo tango,” on March 11, 2021.

Who was Astor Piazzolla?

Astor Piazzolla
Astor Piazzolla

Astor Pantaleón Piazzolla was born on March 11, 1921 in Mar del Plata, Argentina. He was an Argentine performer, a virtuoso on the bandoneón (a square-built button accordion), who left traditional Latin American tango bands in 1955 to make a new tango that mixed elements of jazz and traditional music. He was a significant Latin American composer of the twentieth century.

In 1925, Astor Piazzolla moved with his parents to New York City, where the family lived until 1936. He got his first bandoneón at age eight and learned to play both that instrument and the piano as a child. His family further moved to Little Italy in lower Manhattan. In 1932 Piazzolla composed his first tango, “La Catinga” .

In 1934, Astor Piazzolla met Carlos Gardel, one of the most important figures in the history of tango, and played an appearance role as a paperboy in his film El día que me quieras. Carlos Gardel welcomed him to go along with him on his tour. His dad didn’t permit him to go along with them however that proved to be fortunate for him as Carlos Gardel and the whole orchestra died in a plane accident.

At the point when the family got back to Mar del Plata in 1936, Astor Piazzolla started playing with a variety of tango orchestras. In 1937, he got back to Argentina where traditional tango actually ruled. When home, Piazzolla really surrendered tango to study classical music and become a modernist classical composer.

At age 17, Astor Piazzolla moved to Buenos Aires. He formed his own orchestra in 1946, making new works and experimenting with the sound and structure of the tango. About a similar time, he started to compose music for the film.

In 1946, Astor Piazzolla composed his Orquesta Típica, which, even though having a comparable development to other tango orchestras of the day, gave him his first chance to try different things with his own way to deal with the orchestration and musical content of tango.

That same year Astor Piazzolla made El Desbande, which he viewed as his first formal tango, and afterward started to compose musical scores for films, beginning with Con los mismos colores in 1949 and Bólidos de Acero in 1950, the two movies coordinated via Carlos Torres Ríos.

In 1949, Piazzolla disbanded the orchestra, unsatisfied with his own efforts and still interested in classical composition. Having won a creating challenge with his symphonic piece Buenos Aires (1951), he went to study in Paris with Nadia Boulanger. She asked him to stay consistent with himself and to proceed with his experiments with the tango. Hereafter he consolidated his two musical passions, despite much analysis from tango traditionalists.

Astor Piazzolla got back to Argentina in 1955 yet moved once again to the United States, where he lived from 1958 to 1960. At the point when he returned to Argentina, he formed the influential Quinteto Nuevo Tango (1960), featuring a violin, electric guitar, piano, double bass, and bandoneón.

Read More: Interesting Facts About Tango Composer Astor Piazzolla

Back in Argentina, Astor Piazzolla applied years of classical study to the tango sound and formed his band “Octeto Buenos Aires.” Coined as the “nuevo tango,” Piazolla’s new take incorporated elements of jazz and classical music with new instruments, changing the tempo, the sound, and the tradition of dance.

Even though a large number of Astor Piazzolla’s 750 compositions were composed for that quintet, he additionally composed pieces for orchestra, big band, bandoneón, and cello. His innovations, including counterpoint and new rhythms and harmonies, were at first not well received in his country, however, they were extraordinarily appreciated in the United States and Europe.

Astor Piazzolla moved to Paris in 1974 yet got back to Argentina in 1985. In Argentina Piazzolla’s new tango progressively acquired acknowledgment, and his music influenced a new generation of tango composers and was highlighted during the 1970s and ’80s in film scores, TV programs, and commercials.

Astor Piazzolla completed a few things during his lifetime. He had set up his Electronic Octet in 1975. It was an octet made up of bandoneon, electric piano or potentially acoustic piano, organ, guitar, electric bass, drums, synthesizer, and violin, which was subsequently supplanted by a flute or saxophone.

In December 1976, Astor Piazzolla played at a concert at the Teatro Gran Rex in Buenos Aires, where he introduced his work, “500 motivaciones”, composed particularly for the Conjunto Electronico, and in 1977 he played one more memorable concert at the Olympia in Paris, with a new formation of the Conjunto Electronico.

In 1984, Astor Piazzolla showed up with his Quinteto Tango Nuevo in West-Berlin, Germany, and for TV in Utrecht, Netherlands. In the summer of 1985, he performed at the Almeida Theater in London for a week-long engagement.

On September 6, 1987, Astor Piazzolla’s quintet gave a concert in New York’s Central Park, which was recorded and, in 1994, released in compact disc format as The Central Park Concert.

Astor Piazzolla’s later compositions incorporated a concerto for bandoneón and orchestra (1979) and, commissioned by Kronos Quartet, Five Tango Sensations for bandoneón and string quartet (1989).

In 1992, American music pundit Stephen Holden portrayed Piazzolla as “the world’s foremost composer of Tango music”. A virtuoso bandoneonist, he regularly played out his own compositions with a variety of ensembles.

Astor Piazzolla suffered a cerebral hemorrhage in Paris on August 4, 1990, which left him in a coma and died in Buenos Aires, just under two years after the fact on July 4, 1992, without regaining consciousness.

On March 11th, 2021, Google observes Astor Piazzolla’s 100th Birthday with a Google Doodle.

For the duration of Astor Piazzolla’s life, it’s estimated that Piazzolla composed about 3,000 original compositions and recorded another 500. Out of appreciation for his 100th birthday celebration, the Astor Piazzolla Foundation recently declared the Piazzolla Music competition for soloists and ensembles alike.