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Fri Aug 19, 2016, 06:27 PM

Renowned Argentine Tango pianist Horacio Salgán dies at 100.

Argentine pianist and composer Horacio Salgán, a consular figure in the Tango genre, died today in Buenos Aires; he was 100.

Born in 1916 in what was then the wholesale market (Abasto) district in midtown Buenos Aires, Salgán learned the piano and guitar as a child from his father. He was classically trained in his teens at the Buenos Aires Municipal Conservatory and began his professional career as an accompanist for silent films in the early 1930s.

He performed for a number of radio and Tango orchestras, and in 1944 founded his own orchestra: four bandoneóns, four violins, viola, cello, double bass, and piano. "The idea for the orchestra came about because I liked to play tangos my way, and the only way to do that was to have my own group." Salgán explained in a 1992 interview. "I had no intention to doing anything "by the book." There are people who like to conduct; but what interested me was the piano."

Known for uptempo Tangos such as Don Agustín Bardi (1947), A Fuego Lento (Slow Flame; 1953), and Grillito (Little Cricket, 1954), Salgán incorporated offbeat elements in his work years before most of his contemporaries were willing to do so. One of the few others that did, Ástor Piazzolla, got his start recording with Salgán in 1950 and later developed the New Tango genre that would go on to eclipse the more traditional, rhythmic Tango.

Most of Salgán's best known recordings were produced with the Quinteto Real - the "Royal Quintet" - which he founded in 1960 with guitarist Ubaldo de Lío. The quintet - Salgán, de Lío, bandoneónist Leopoldo Federico (later replaced by Néstor Marconi), bassist Omar Murthag, and violinist Antonio Agri - became one of the most celebrated Tango ensembles not only in Argentina but worldwide as one of a few to perform at Lincoln Center (1972).

Salgán himself, who early in his career forswore "doing anything by the book," authored the first published textbook on Tango musical theory in 1991. He later performed in Spanish director Carlos Saura's Oscar-nominated Tangos (1998) and with many of his fellow old school Tango greats in Gustavo Santaolalla's acclaimed 2006 documentary, Café de los maestros. His last public performance was for the Buenos Aires bicentennial celebrations of May 25, 2010.

Conductor Daniel Barenboim, a fellow Argentine, led a concert in Salgán's honor in Buenos Aires in late June - two weeks after he turned 100. Salgán died in his home in Buenos Aires this morning.

His quintet is still active today, led by his son César Salgán.

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&u=http://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/ultimas/20-307312-2016-08-19.html&prev=search


Salgán playing his best-known composition, A Fuego Lento (Slow Flame), in 2005.[/center]

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