Astor Piazzolla

Last updated: November 23, 2022

Mar del Plata, Argentina | 1921-1992

Astor Piazzolla was a tango composer from Argentina. Not only was he an accomplished bandoneon performer (a musical instrument similar to an accordion), Piazzolla was also a baseball and boxing fan. Throughout his lifetime, he forged his own musical path and composed with a style that contradicted cultural norms and upset the status quo.

Tango was more-or-less “musical law” in Argentina—but this did not stop Piazzolla. He envisioned a new version of Tango infused with influences of jazz and classical music. Piazzolla’s passion for this crossover style defined the journey of his career as a composer. He stood behind his artistic vision, despite any challenges he faced.

Astor Piazzolla left a legacy that transformed tango forever. He was a rockstar known for writing music that was romantic, sad, joyful and menacing—sometimes all at once.

Source: Great Canadian Orchestra Field Trip, Episode 2 Learner's Companion