Astor Piazzolla was a tango composer and bandoneón player from Argentina. His work turned traditional tango into a modern version known as nuevo tango, which integrated jazz and classical music components. He was an outstanding bandoneonist who played his compositions with numerous ensembles daily. In his birthplace, he is regarded as "El Gran Astor" ("The Big Astor"). Piazzolla was born in Argentina in 1921 to Italian immigrant parents and lived the rest of his youth in New York City. He studied four languages throughout his period there: Spanish, English, French, and Italian. He also began playing the bandoneon, soon identifying himself as a child prodigy. In 1937, he returned to Argentina, where purely classical tango reigned supreme and danced with several nightclubs groups. In Buenos Aires, pianist Arthur Rubinstein suggested that he study with Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera. He briefly gave up tango to work as a modernist classical composer, delving into Stravinsky, Bartók, Ravel, and others.
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