Astor Piazzolla composed countless pieces for a great variety of instrumental ensembles, both academical and popular. However, without a doubt the most famous and transcending of them all was his quintet ensemble, made up of bandoneon, violin, electric guitar, piano and double bass.
Piazzolla’s first quintet ensemble was created in 1960 and maintained, with some circumstantial modifications and additions, until 1973. It was Piazzolla’s go-to in the creation of Nuevo Tango- the next era of tango which he unraveled throughout the decade of 1960. The musicians that integrated the quintet, which went through six different formations until 1973, were all notable and exquisite performers, each of whom Piazzolla greatly appreciated, for their ability and capacity to bring his music to life whilst incorporating their own respective personal touches to the execution. Among the most notorious, it is worth mentioning the violinists Elvino Vardaro and Antonio Agri, the great double bass player Kicho Díaz, the pianists Jaime Gosis and Dante Amicarelli, and Horacio Malvicino and Oscar López Ruiz as the guitarists.
Eventually, Piazzolla decided to settle down in Europe for a few years, temporarily leaving aside the quintet until 1978, when he relaunched the quintet with a formation that he kept stable until 1988: Fernando Suárez Paz on violin, Héctor Console on double bass, Pablo Ziegler on piano and Horacio Malvicino / or Oscar López Ruiz on guitar. The repertoire for this new quintet- on which Piazzolla’s music gained international recognition- was richly nourished with the sound of ‘60s Nuevo Tango and the compositions which incorporated new and barrier-breaking ideas, some of which are now considered Piazzolla’s magnum opus.
After the composer’s death, Laura Escalada Piazzolla established the Astor Piazzolla Foundation with the objective of promoting the maestro’s legacy, this marked a new phase in the expansion and reception of the maestro’s music. Since its establishment, some of the Foundation’s most prominent accomplishments include the recording of Concierto de Nácar by the foundation’s in-house Trio alongside the Orquesta de Cámara Mayo; a rerun of the “operita” María de Buenos Aires respecting the original setting and format which counted on the general direction of the very own Laura Escalada; and, most importantly, the creation, in 1998, of the Quinteto Astor Piazzolla with five virtuoso soloists capable of interpreting the vast repertoire of the composer who revolutionized tango. With more than 20 years running, the QAP has achieved a sophisticated level of skill in performing the maestro’s works, bringing a sense of newness and freshness to his music, as if they were being channeled straight from Piazzolla’s originating thoughts.
The members that integrate the QAP are high-caliber tango musicians who aesthetically commune with Piazzolla’s sound, and of whom have grown into music under the influence of the maestro. Currently, the QAP tours around the world receiving high acclaims by the international press, and is considered to be the only ensemble capable of representing the true and pure style of the great Astor Piazzolla.