Archive for September 16th, 2011


It was with much trepidation that he finally made his move at he age of 32 to launch his own orchestra…it was a gutsy move; Argentina was in the midst of the “Infamous Decade”; a period marked by fraud and political persecution against a backdrop of world-wide depression…the population of Buenos Aires had doubled with the influx of destitute farmers who had lost everything; it is they who would provide the basis of Peronism in the next decade…the competition among orchestras was fierce; there was an abundance of excellent musicians especially among the Italian immigrants who were naturally gifted musicians…but Rodolfo Biagi had paid his dues and he had learned much especially during his tenure with his friend and mentor the legendary Juan D’arienzo…in his brief three years with the Juan D’arienzo orchestra, his innovative beat on piano would help usher in “danceable tango”  and reinvigorate tango in the forties by appealing to young people…Rodolfo Biagi was born in the neighborhood of San Telmo, Buenos Aires to struggling Italian immigrants


He caused a family crisis when at the end of grammar school, young Rodolfo insisted on leaving school; his parent reluctantly agreed but they enrolled him in the conservatory of the newspaper “La Prensa” to study piano…being strong willed and independent, at the age of thirteen, without his parents’ consent he began playing in a silent film cinema…one evening the legendary Juan Maglio (Pacho) happened to be in the cinema and was stunned by the precocious teenager at piano; he eventually accepted him into his orchestra, he was only fifteen…a major break occurred when in 1930 Jose Razzano interceded him backstage to ask him to accompany Carlos Gardel on a series of recordings…soon after he worked with a number of orchestras and along the way composed his first tango “Indeferencia” with lyrics by Juan Carlos Thorry…Rodolfo was a frequent customer of the Cabaret Chantecler where the Juan D’arienzo played nightly…his pianist Lidio Fasoli was notoriously late and one evening D’arienzo could endure no more and on the spot asked Rodolfo to take over at piano……in the long Rodolfo would create one of the greatest tango orchestras in history recording some immortal hits like the waltz “Lagrimas Y Sonrisas” and the tango “Quiero Verte Una Vez Mas” with singer Jorge