Firpo was born in the Flores district of Buenos Aires, where his father owned a grocery store. Firpo left school at 15 to work with his father and then several other companies, he eventually saved 200 Pesos (around US$100, at the time) to buy his first piano.
Around 1903 he began to have lessons with one of the greats of the period, Alfredo Bevilacqua. In 1907 he began composing and performing.
During his career Firpo played in most of the famous Buenos Aires tango venues such as the Armenonville, El tambito, Palais de Glace, Bar Iglesias, L’Abbaye, Teatro Buenos Aires, Teatro Nacional, Salón San Martín and Colonia Italiana. Many famous musicians passed through his various orchestras including the bandoneonist Pedro Maffia, the violinist Elvino Vardaro, Cayetano Puglisi, Juan Guido, Luis Cosenza and Carlos Garcia. His quartet was one of his most famous ensembles and he wrote many tangos.
In 1930 he gave up his tango career for a short while to try his hand at cattle ranching, but he was forced to return to tango after floods decimated his stock and he lost the rest of his fortune on the stock market.
Firpo retired in 1959 and died on June 14, 1969.
It is estimated that Firpo made between 1,650 and 3,000 recordings in his career. He is considered one of the most conservative of the tango traditionalists but also one of the greatest and most prodigious of tango musicians and composers.
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