Born: 1921, Mar del Plata, Argentina
Died: 1992, Buenos Aires, Argentina
"I had two great teachers: Nadia Boulanger and Alberto Ginastera. A third I found in the cold room of a pensión, in the cabarets of the '40s, in the cafés with boxes and orchestras, in the people yesterday and today, in the sound of the streets. This third teacher is called Buenos Aires: it taught me the secrets of the tango."
ASTOR PIAZZOLLA learned to play the bandoneón (button accordion) as a child in New York. When his family returned to Argentina, he found work in several prominent bands, eventually forming his own tango orchestra. After study with Ginastera and Boulanger, he began to make a radical break with traditional tango music, focusing his work after 1955 on his own small ensembles - tangos for listening rather than for dancing,aas he once said, although dance companies around the world use his music. Most of his roughly 750 works are tangos, but he also composed the musical María de Buenos Aires, several concertos, film scores, and pieces for string quartet.