It is taking longer than expected to fetch the next song to play. The music should be playing soon. If you get tired of waiting, you can try reloading your browser.

Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.

Please ensure you are using the latest Flash Player.

If you are unable or do not wish to upgrade your Flash Player,
please try a different browser.

Please check our Help page for information about troubleshooting Pandora on your browser.
Your Pandora Plus subscription will expire shortly.
More Info
No Thanks
Your Pandora Plus trial will expire shortly.
Your Pandora Plus trial subscription will expire shortly. Upgrade to continue unlimited, ad-free listening.
Upgrade Now
You've listened to hours of Pandora this month. Consider upgrading to Pandora Plus.
More Info
No Thanks
Hi . Pandora is using Facebook to personalize your experience. Learn MoreNo Thanks
 Upgrade  sign up   |   help   |  
Change Skin

Free personalized radio that
plays the music you love

Now Playing
Music Feed
My Profile
Create a Station
People who also like this

Astor Piazzolla

It's not hyperbole to say that Astor Piazzolla is the single most important figure in the history of tango, a towering giant whose shadow looms large over everything that preceded and followed him. Piazzolla's place in Argentina's greatest cultural export is roughly equivalent to that of Duke Ellington in jazz -- the genius composer who took an earthy, sensual, even disreputable folk music and elevated it into a sophisticated form of high art. But even more than Ellington, Piazzolla was also a virtuosic performer with a near-unparalleled mastery of his chosen instrument, the bandoneon, a large button accordion noted for its unwieldy size and difficult fingering system. In Piazzolla's hands, tango was no longer strictly a dance music; his compositions borrowed from jazz and classical forms, creating a whole new harmonic and rhythmic vocabulary made for the concert hall more than the ballroom (which was dubbed "nuevo tango"). Some of his devices could be downright experimental -- he wasn't afraid of dissonance or abrupt shifts in tempo and meter, and he often composed segmented pieces with hugely contrasting moods that interrupted the normal flow and demanded the audience's concentration. The complexity and ambition of Piazzolla's oeuvre brought him enormous international acclaim, particularly in Europe and Latin America, but it also earned him the lasting enmity of many tango purists, who attacked him mercilessly for his supposed abandonment of tradition (and even helped drive him out of the country for several years). But Piazzolla always stuck to his guns, and remained tango's foremost emissary to the world at large up until his death in 1992.

Piazzolla was born in Mar del Plata, Argentina, on March 11, 1921. His parents were poor Italian immigrants who moved to New York City in 1924, affording the young Piazzolla extensive exposure to jazz artists like Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway. His father also played tango records by the early masters, especially the legendary vocalist/composer Carlos Gardel, and gave Astor a bandoneon for his ninth birthday. In addition to lessons on that instrument (which encompassed American music, like Gershwin, as well as tango), Piazzolla also studied with classical pianist Bela Wilda in 1933, becoming an ardent fan of Bach and Rachmaninoff. Around the same time, the budding prodigy met and played with Carlos Gardel, appearing as a newspaper boy in Gardel's watershed tango film El Dia que Me Quieras. The teenaged Piazzolla turned down an offer to tour South America with Gardel in 1935, a fortuitous decision that kept him out of the tragic plane crash that claimed Gardel's life.

In 1936, Piazzolla's family returned to Mar del Plata, and his passion for tango music was fired anew by violinist Elvino Vardaro's sextet. The still-teenaged Piazzolla moved to Buenos Aires in 1938, seeking work as a musician. After about a year of dues-paying, he caught on with the widely renowned Anibal Troilo orchestra, where he spent several high-profile years. In the meantime, he continued his study of piano and music theory, counting future classical composer Alberto Ginastera (1941) and pianist Raul Spivak (1943) as his teachers. He began composing for Troilo during this period, although his more ambitious, classically influenced pieces were often edited for accessibility's sake. In 1944, Piazzolla left Troilo's group to become the orchestra leader behind singer Francisco Fiorentino; two years later, he formed his own group, playing mostly traditional tangos, yet already with hints of modernism. This group broke up in 1949, and Piazzolla, unsure of his musical direction, sought a way to leave tango behind for more refined pursuits. He studied Ravel, Bartók, and Stravinsky, also immersing himself in American jazz, and worked mostly on his compositional skills for a few years. His 1953 piece "Buenos Aires" caused a stir for its use of bandoneon in a classical orchestral setting.

In 1954, Piazzolla won a scholarship to study in Paris with the hugely influential Nadia Boulanger, who also taught Aaron Copland, Philip Glass, and Quincy Jones, among many others. Boulanger encouraged Piazzolla not to ignore tango, but to reinvigorate the form with his jazz and classical training. Piazzolla returned home in 1955 and immediately set the tango world on its ear, forming an octet that played tango as self-contained chamber music, rather than accompaniment for vocalists or dancers. The howls of protest from traditionalists continued unabated until 1958, when Piazzolla disbanded the group and went to New York City; there he worked as an arranger and experimented with a fusion of jazz and tango, also composing the famed "Adios Nonino," a lovely ode to his recently departed father.

Returning to Buenos Aires in 1960, Piazzolla formed his first quintet, the Quinteto Tango Nuevo, which would become the primary vehicle for his forward-looking vision. Over the course of the '60s, Piazzolla would refine and experiment heavily, pushing the formal structure of tango to its breaking point. In 1965, he made a record of his concert at New York's Philharmonic Hall, and also cut an album of poems by Jorge Luis Borges set to music. In 1967, Piazzolla struck a deal with poet Horacio Ferrer to collaborate exclusively with each other, resulting in the groundbreaking so-called "operita" Maria de Buenos Aires, which was premiered by singer Amelita Baltar in 1968 (she would later become Piazzolla's second wife). Piazzolla and Ferrer next collaborated on a series of "tango-canciones" (tango songs) which produced his first genuine commercial hit, "Balada Para un Loco" ("Ballad of a Madman"). In addition to composing songs and more elaborate pieces for orchestra (such as 1970's El Pueblo Joven), Piazzolla also flexed his muscles scoring numerous films of the period.

The '70s started out well for Piazzolla, as an acclaimed European tour brought the opportunity to form a nine-piece group to play his music in especially lush fashion. However, all was not well. Argentina's government was taken over by a conservative military faction, and everything that Piazzolla symbolized -- modern refinement, an ostensible lack of respect for tradition -- suddenly became politically unwelcome. In 1973, Piazzolla suffered a heart attack, and after recovering, he decided that, with sentiments running high against him, it would be wiser for him to live in Italy. There he formed a group called the Conjunto Electronico, which placed bandoneon at the forefront of what was essentially, instrumentation-wise, an electric jazz ensemble; this period also produced one of his most celebrated compositions, "Libertango." In 1974, Piazzolla cut an album with jazz baritone saxophonist Gerry Mulligan called Summit, with backing by Italian musicians; the following year, he found a new favorite vocal interpreter in Jose Angel Trelles. 1976 brought a major concert back in Buenos Aires, with the Conjunto Electronico premiering the piece "500 Motivaciones."

Tiring of electric music, Piazzolla formed a new quintet in 1978 and toured extensively all over the world, also composing new chamber and symphonic works in the meantime. His reputation grew steadily, making him a prime candidate for exposure in the U.S. during the world-music craze of the latter half of the '80s. In 1986, Piazzolla entered the studio with his quintet and American producer Kip Hanrahan and recorded what he considered the finest album of his career, Tango: Zero Hour. The same year, he played the Montreux Jazz Festival with vibraphonist Gary Burton, resulting in the live set Suite for Vibraphone and New Tango Quintet. The official follow-up to Tango: Zero Hour, The Rough Dancer and the Cyclical Night, won equally glowing reviews, and Piazzolla staged a major homecoming concert in New York's Central Park in 1987.

Unfortunately, at the height of his international fame (and belated celebration at home), Piazzolla's health began to fail him. He underwent quadruple bypass surgery in 1988, but recovered well enough to mount an international tour in 1989, including what would be his final concert in Argentina. La Camorra, another excellent recording, was released in 1989, the same year Piazzolla formed a new sextet with an unheard-of two bandoneons. In 1990, he recorded a short album with modern-classical iconoclasts the Kronos Quartet, titled Five Tango Sensations. Sadly, not long afterward, Piazzolla suffered a stroke that left him unable to perform or compose. Almost two years later, on July 4, 1992, he died in his beloved Buenos Aires due to the lingering after-effects, leaving behind a monumental legacy as one of South America's greatest musical figures ever, and a major composer of the 20th century. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: The Last Concert

Title: Tangos (3) For Bandoneon & Orchestra

1. Tangos (3) For Bandoneon & Orchestra: Allegro Tranquillo

2. Tangos (3) For Bandoneon & Orchestra: Moderato Mistico

3. Tangos (3) For Bandoneon & Orchestra: Allegretto Molto Marcato

Title: Adiós Nonino, Tango

4. Adiós Nonino, Tango: Adios, Nonino

Title: Concerto For Bandoneón & Orchestra

5. Concerto For Bandoneón & Orchestra: Allegro Marcato

6. Concerto For Bandoneón & Orchestra: Moderato

7. Concerto For Bandoneón & Orchestra: Presto

Title: Adiós Nonino, Tango

8. Adiós Nonino, Tango: Adios Nonino (Bis)


Track List: Unmixed

1. Doble Concierto Para Bandoneon, Guitarra Y Orquesta De Cuerdos 'hommage A Leige' Tango

2. Vuelvo Al Sur

3. El Tango

4. Luna

5. El Viaje

6. Milonga Del Angel

7. Milonga

8. Revirado

9. Tanguedia III

10. Verano Porteno

11. Resurreccion Del Angel

12. Calambre

13. Ballada Para Mi Muerte

14. Duo De Amor


Track List: Pulsacion

1. Pulsacion No.1

2. Pulsacion No.2

3. Pulsacion No.4

4. Pulsacion No.5

5. Fuga Y Misterio

6. Contramilonga A La Funerala

7. Allegro Tangabile

8. Tocata Rea

9. Tangata Del Alba


Track List: The Essential Tangos Of Astor Piazzolla

1. Los Suenos Part II

2. Libertango (live)

3. Milonga Del Angel

6. Duo De Amor

7. Nuevo Tango

8. Caliente (live)

10. Tanguedia I

11. Adios Nonino

12. Vuelvo Al Sur


Track List: Adios Nonino

1. Adios Nonino

2. Escualo (live)

3. Verano Porteno (live)

4. Libertango

5. Biyuya (live)

6. Fracanapa (live)

7. Lunfardo (live)

8. Revirado

9. Caliente

10. Decarisimo (live)

11. Milonga Del Angel

12. Muerte Del Angel

13. Resurreccion Del Angel


Track List: 57 Minutos Con La Realidad

3. Buenos Aires Hora Cero

5. Tres Minutos Con La Realidad

6. Mumuki

7. Sexteto

8. Adios Nonino


Track List: Suite Punta Del Este

1. Adios Nonino

2. Mumuki

3. Verano Porteno

4. Chin Chin

5. Libertango


Track List: The Rough Dancer And The Cyclical Night (Tango Apasionado)

2. Milonga For Three

3. Street Tango

5. Knife Fight

6. Leonora's Song

8. Butcher's Death

9. Leijia's Game

10. Milonga For Three (Reprise)

11. Bailongo

12. Leonora's Love Theme

13. Finale (Tango Apasionado)


Track List: Libertango - Buenos Aires Hora Cero

5. Buenos Aires Hora Cero


Track List: Tango: Zero Hour

1. Tanguedia III

2. Milonga Del Angel

3. Concierto Para Quinteto

4. Milonga Loca

5. Michelangelo '70

6. Contrabajisimo

7. Mumuki


Report as inappropriate
Maestro! Gracias por la musica!
Report as inappropriate
what a way to start day with beautiful music.
Report as inappropriate
Report as inappropriate
My music!
Report as inappropriate
Simply wonderful... . . . . . . .
Report as inappropriate
In genio de la musica No cuestion about it
Report as inappropriate
No words could describe the beauty of his music
Report as inappropriate
Great music to my soul - amo el tango
Report as inappropriate
Maestro del bandoneón, Piazzola, me quito el sombrero ante su música: Balada de un loco... Adios Nonino... Buenos Aires... todas son buenas...
Report as inappropriate
This makes my hart feeling fly to their
Report as inappropriate
hyperbole tango
Report as inappropriate
i love it
Report as inappropriate
nestormartin 8
los chalchaleros
Report as inappropriate
Astor piazzolla ,un genio della musica!
Report as inappropriate
I liked it it's fun/sad for me
Report as inappropriate
Very nice.. My first time hearing
Report as inappropriate
nuevo tango
Report as inappropriate
I think the Bio goes a bit too far in naming Piazzola the God of tango. Hugely influential, yes...the single most important figure in Tango, no.....and I love and respect Piazzola!
Report as inappropriate
Report as inappropriate
I also play the bandoneon. My Grandfather and Astor are my heroes :)
Report as inappropriate
Maestro. todas las gracias del mundo no son suficientes para cubrir parte de lo que usted ha echo por el tango, i para el mundo. es un honor escuchar sus creasiones
Report as inappropriate
Luis: everything that is written in this bio is correct except that Piazzola was #1 of the tango. The best known interpreter of the tango is Carlos Cardel because he is revered in all Latin America without any exception. Piazzola was a fantastic composer but not totally accepted in Latin America, inncluding Argentina because he created a different tango. And Gardel, who was born in France and moved to ARgentina a s a young boy, transmits the soul of how the tango became part of the pople, or I s
Report as inappropriate
Beautiful Argentine music ;)
Report as inappropriate
You should add the CAM CD of his film scores (Enrico IV/Cadaveri Eccelenti/Il Pleut Sur Santiago).
Report as inappropriate
I can only dream about doing tango that I can appreciate fully and enjoy since I have no co-ordinatio n for such wonderful tapestry of rhythms expressed in Piazzolla's creative mind put to music.
Report as inappropriate
Una de las mejores por uno de los mejores. Para sanar las heridas y calmar el alma.
Report as inappropriate
I just love the music of those composers who sing and speak about their home land in such a beautiful and deep manner. The sounds of Piazzolla's music along with the songs of Jobim, Jose Alfredo Jimenez and others make us proud latin americans.
Report as inappropriate
i got serreptitiou s l y subliminally addicted to tango music while watching a favorite movie 12 monkeys thence to gotan project and eventually to the master
Report as inappropriate
Piazzolla's music inspires to go back to Argentina.
I love his tangos.
Report as inappropriate
Listen to Nuevo Tango! Astor Piazzolla rocks...
Report as inappropriate
I feel like I received the best gift ever when I first heard him here on Pandora. So thanks Pandora - for turning me onto a gem of an artist!! Incredible treat!
Report as inappropriate
Loving it! Love the music!
Report as inappropriate
Rich, and saturated with the sounds that softly screams, ARGENTINA.
Daniel Campos, singer. a s i t e . c o m
Report as inappropriate
Report as inappropriate
Deep, intense....l o v e him!!!
Report as inappropriate
Oh by the way, I'm a black woman in ohio,who also loves celtic music too- if that don't beat all!!! There's something about violin (fiddling)pl a y i n g that truly/deeply speaks to me!
Report as inappropriate
there was a movie on tango that introduced me to him and tango, and I've been in love with it ever since. My dream is to learn the argentine tango!!! and then adapt it tp hip hop and r & b!!!!
Report as inappropriate
heard him first on acid. that was an experience
Report as inappropriate
Who would have thought that a Black man from the SWATS in GA would like accordion music but I became acquainted with Astor Piazzolla in the late 80's and have followed him and his music ever since. This is soul music because you can feel the passion in this music. Very romantic and I am a romantic
Report as inappropriate
I came across him by accident about ten years ago. He's my main man on one of my stations. Here's a good website where you can hear him all through the night. I'm not real sure but these might be rare tunes worth submitting to Pandora. http://www.p i a z z o l l a . o r g /
Report as inappropriate
Report as inappropriate
sosohot..... . . . . .
Report as inappropriate
I ran across Astor, the dean of the Tango on a 'cd carasel'.
Report as inappropriate
Been into Gotan Project for a while so I'm glad I was able to find this artist to expand my sonic horizons into the OG tango stuff. Tight.
Report as inappropriate
This artist is listed twice, definitely the same person.
Report as inappropriate
discovered his music by chance just recently soooo glad I did just love it.

Don't have a Pandora account? Sign up

We're sorry, but a browser plugin or firewall may be preventing Pandora from loading.

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser.

Please check our Help page for more information.

It looks like your browser does not support modern SSL/TLS. Please upgrade your browser.

If you need help, please email:

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please upgrade to a more current browser
or install a newer version of Flash (v.10 or later).

In order to use Pandora internet radio, please install Adobe Flash (v.10 or later).

[123, 101, 125, 122, 92, 71, 108, 75, 119, 83, 64, 93, 126, 76, 68, 71, 115, 87, 108, 85, 83, 114, 93, 126, 85, 100, 85, 93, 78, 116, 99, 118, 73, 116, 80, 96, 122, 118, 68, 110, 80, 103, 125, 112, 99, 109, 121, 107, 113, 107, 72, 90, 66, 96, 95, 95, 104, 77, 88, 123, 82, 112, 90, 98, 88, 115, 108, 68, 91, 113, 102, 71, 85, 64, 75, 72, 81, 68, 83, 99, 106, 103, 90, 113, 79, 110, 103, 99, 101, 90, 107, 73, 127, 106, 68, 94, 110, 110, 71, 105, 105, 101, 101, 113, 65, 116, 126, 102, 88, 97, 125, 98, 98, 118, 103, 109, 115, 108, 109, 96, 66, 119, 91, 111, 83, 86, 125, 76, 95, 97, 85, 104, 65, 86, 76, 113, 92, 110, 125, 74, 122, 125, 85, 94, 82, 116, 78, 76, 90, 84, 99, 115, 70, 111, 110, 82, 93, 64, 101, 73, 118, 79, 103, 113, 124, 125, 102, 113, 73, 100, 120, 99, 75, 115, 107, 116, 111, 118, 124, 94, 91, 104, 123, 104, 88, 119, 108, 96, 74, 76, 98, 110, 98, 103, 110, 122, 109, 124, 66, 117, 100, 81, 69, 90, 105, 112, 82, 114, 64, 68, 126, 97, 82, 99, 120, 112, 98, 127, 89, 65, 66, 124, 122, 76, 65, 107, 119, 125, 75, 127, 84, 127, 127, 84, 126, 89, 86, 117, 72, 107, 104, 83, 105, 69, 96, 106, 106, 72, 122, 66, 121, 84, 78, 94, 99, 66, 108, 116, 120, 95, 91, 108, 90, 97, 107, 82, 123, 90, 98, 85, 112, 117, 124, 114, 99, 101, 71, 102, 123, 119, 84, 98, 85, 68, 79, 126, 101, 73, 97, 108, 103, 105, 67, 125, 90, 69, 105, 116, 92, 117, 65, 73, 111, 115, 75, 66, 64, 97, 121, 81, 108, 112, 121, 125, 65, 111, 122, 65, 119, 97, 115, 100, 89, 107, 93, 118, 97, 101, 100, 120, 103, 64, 115, 123, 76, 64, 122, 80, 122, 120, 121, 105, 90, 84, 75, 75, 101, 108, 108, 75, 114, 107, 84, 107, 108, 111, 113, 124, 91, 109, 84, 82, 110, 102, 74, 103, 121, 110, 70, 75, 72, 119, 117, 100, 123, 93, 75, 64, 75, 85, 124, 70, 117, 105, 97, 121, 65, 84, 110, 70, 115, 93, 100, 96, 92, 79, 76, 119, 99, 99, 101, 85, 74, 109, 109, 127, 91, 92, 113, 111, 102, 122, 100, 115, 104, 109, 83, 87, 115, 127, 82, 118, 74, 76, 72, 122, 122, 69, 122, 113, 103, 75, 71, 103, 81, 122, 87, 73, 91, 105, 127, 109, 106, 90, 111, 102, 108, 105, 104, 105, 105, 110, 75, 69, 107, 109, 86, 69, 99, 98, 94, 98, 78, 106, 119, 98, 69, 89, 80, 90, 104, 99, 105, 67, 88, 124, 64, 65, 104, 117, 114, 104, 95, 101, 66, 96, 100, 112, 71, 108, 107, 66, 83, 89, 109, 122, 95, 101, 89, 73, 67, 123, 114, 96, 125, 82, 87, 81, 76, 94, 74, 106]