Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992) is recognized as the modern maestro of the tango. This Argentine composer made his mark as a "tanguero" in Aribal Troilo as well as his own bands during the thirties and forties. He was a virtuoso bandoneón player, and while playing in bands he began to compose his music. As his compositions became more complex he turned away from the tango and focused on classical music, studying with, among others, Alberto Ginastera. It wasn't until 1954 when he won a trip to Paris to study with the legendary Nadia Boulanger, that he realized that tango was his music. It was Nadia who told him not to give up on tango when he played one of his tangos for her. He still wanted to do more than just the tango and this is when he began to infuse it with classical and jazz influences. In the latter half of his life he was able to resurrect and reinvigorate the tango with his musical style and produced a series of experimental tango operas, song cycles, and emotionally complex works. When he began composing, his works were highly controversial in his home country of Argentina, but now he has found a worldwide following.
The Boston Modern Orchestra Project (BMOP), under artistic director and conductor Gil Rose, returns to the Moonshine Room at Club Café this year for three cabaret-style performances of new music.