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Astor Piazzolla

Born: March 11, 1921 | Died: July 4, 1992    Primary Instrument: Bandoneon

Astor Piazzolla

Astor Pantaleón Piazzolla was born on March 11, 1921 in Mar del Plata, Argentina, only child of Vicente “Nonino” Piazzolla and Asunta Mainetti. In 1925, the family relocates to New York City until 1936 with a brief return to Mar del Plata in 1930. In 1929, when Astor is 8 years old, his father gives him his first bandoneon which he had bought at a pawn shop for 19 dollars. Astor studies the bandoneon for one year with Andrés DÁquila and he makes his first record, Marionette Spagnol; a phonograph disk (non commercial) at the Radio Recording Studio in New York on 11/30/1931.

In 1933 he studies with the Hungarian pianist Bela Wilda, disciple of Rachmaninov, and of whom Astor would later say “With him I learned to love Bach”. Shortly thereafter, he meets Carlos Gardel who becomes a good friend of the family and with whom he takes part in the movie “El Dia Que me Quieras”, playing a brief part as a newspaper boy. This feature film plays a monumental role in the history of Tango....
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