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Unformatted text preview: What was Astor Piazzolos life like? What led to him write the piece Winter In Buenos Aires? 1 Answer: Astor Piazzolla began playing bandonen at age 8 when his father found one in a pawnshop for only $19. He spent most of his early life in New York and was able to absorb jazz, tango, and later, classical music. He returned to Argentina in 1937, played in nightclubs with various groups, and in 1941, decided to advance his musical studies. Astor studied music with Alberto Ginastera in 1941, and in 1943 he began study- ing piano with Ral Spivak. By 1949, he decided to drop ban- donen and tango to focus on what he felt as his destiny in clas- sical music. He made this decision also because he felt classical music was more refined. In 1953 he composes the work Buenos Aires, and enters it in the Fabien Sevitzky competition. The piece wins and as a prize, Astor receives a scholarship from France to begin studies with Nadia Boulanger. He tries to conceal both his passion for and ability to play tango from her, but she ends up helping him to identify who he is as a musician and to convince him that the tango is his true calling. He then began focusing on combining what he considered sophisticated music and tango, combining the bandonen and the string orchestra (two bandoneons, two violins, double bass, cello, piano, and an electric guitar). Astor continues this orchestration with the piece Invierno Porteo (Winter in Buenos Aires), seemingly his musical interpretation of winter in his homeland. The piece is only one in a series of four pieces that are written about the seasons in Buenos Aires....
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- Fall '08