Education and Culture, Music
Alberto Ginastera, Juan Jose Castro, National Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic music, northern provinces
The most important components of traditional Argentine music are the gaucho folk song and folk dance; Native American music from the northern provinces; European influences; and, to a minor extent, African music. The tango, which developed in Buenos Aires and became a favorite ballroom dance throughout much of the world, is perhaps Argentina’s most famous contribution to modern music. Astor Piazzolla, a prolific 20th-century tango composer, bandleader, and performer, incorporated jazz and classical influences in his works.
Symphonic music and opera are important features of cultural activity. The National Symphony Orchestra is based in Buenos Aires, and the opera company of the city is housed in the Colon Theater, built in 1908. The Colon opera has achieved an international reputation for excellence. Leading figures in the classical music field are three brothers, Jose Maria Castro, Juan Jose Castro, and Washington Castro, all conductors and composers. Alberto Williams, the founder of the Buenos Aires Conservatory, was the best known of all Argentine composers. Alberto Ginastera is well known for his symphonic, ballet, operatic, and piano music, which is popular throughout the world.
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