BBC Radio 3 Music Matters: Celebrating a Century of Astor Piazzolla


Of the many tributes these past weeks to Astor Piazzolla, in what would have been his 100th birthday, here’s an informed exploration of his life and work by BBC’s Radio 3 Music Matters.

Tom Service commemorates the centenary of the birth of Astor Piazzolla with a portrait of the great Argentine bandoneon player and tango composer and explores his revolutionary style which changed the genre forever. He also questions his legacy in today’s Argentina. We hear from Piazzolla himself in rare BBC archive material, as well as his widow Laura Escalada Piazzolla; his grandsons Daniel Villaflor Piazzolla, who runs the ‘Fundación Piazzolla’ and Daniel ‘Pipi’ Piazzolla, drummer in the jazz band ‘Escalandrum’. There are contributions, too, from the critic Fernando González, who translated Piazzolla’s Memoirs into English and interviewed him for international publications; the pianist Pablo Ziegler, who performed with Piazzolla for 11 years in one of his Quintets; and amongst others, the singers Amelita Baltar, who premiered many of Piazzolla’s songs, and Elena Roger, who offers a new take of Piazzolla’s music. Also in the programme, the violinist Isabelle Faust describes her recent experience of traveling to Japan where she was able to perform to sold-out concert hall audiences. She shares her thoughts about the future of touring the world as a soloist, how things may look in a post-COVID world and the role of music for her during the pandemic.

Released On: 13 Mar 2021


The Astor Piazzolla feature begins around minute 12.

BBC Radio 3 Music Matters   

Fred Hersch´s week of daily benefit videos

Pianist Fred Hersch begins a week-long of one-tune Facebook Live solo videos collectively entitled The Year That Was, which he calls “musical reflections on an extraordinary twelve months.”

The series, which starts today, runs through next Sunday, March 21st, at 1pm EDT
“Each day I will be requesting donations to a different charity,” Hersch noted in his announcement.

Those interested do not have to be “on” Facebook to tune in.
Go to this link

An Astor Piazzolla Celebration in Miami

If you know the music of New Tango master Astor Piazzolla or better yet, if you are still wondering what all the noise is about, you might want to check the tribute to Piazzolla in the year of his centenary by the Koubek Center at Miami Dade College this Friday on Facebook @ KoubekCenter MDC at 8 p.m.

100 Years of Piazzolla, The Soul of New Tango, is a virtual show that features works from different periods of Piazzolla’s career, samples his film music, explores his global impact, and offers insights into the man and the composer. (Full disclosure here, I was part of the Koubek Center’s team that created and produced the program as the creative director.)

The show includes performances by the Quinteto Astor Piazzolla, of the Fundación Astor Piazzolla; bandoneon player and arranger David Alsina with a string quartet of Fellows of the New World Symphony; and bassist, arranger, and producer Pablo Aslan’s Mash-ish, an exploration of Piazzolla’s music from an intriguing perspective, featuring an Argentine/Brazilian ensemble performing from Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, and Vinalhaven, ME. The program also features personal reminiscences by Miami’s bandoneonist Miguel Arrabal, who played on choreographer and director Graciela Daniele’s Broadway show Dangerous Games, music by Astor Piazzolla, who conducted the rehearsals. Finally, the show also includes a clip from the film The Years of the Shark, a biography of Piazzolla featuring rare personal material, and an interview with its director Daniel Rosenfeld.

100 Years of Piazzolla, The Soul of New Tango will be available after Friday at the Koubek Center’s YouTube channel and Facebook @KoubekCenterMDC.