Adiós Nonino

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Adiós Nonino (Farewell, Granddaddy in Italian) is a composition by tango Argentine composer Ástor Piazzolla, written in October 1959 while in New York, in memory of his father, Vicente "Nonino" Piazzolla, a few days after his father's death.[1][2]


In 1959, Piazzolla was on a tour of Central America when, during a presentation in Puerto Rico with Juan Carlos Copes and Maria Nieves Rego, he received news of the death of his father, Vicente Piazzolla, nicknamed Nonino, due to a bicycle accident in his hometown of Mar del Plata. This news, coupled with the tour's failure, economic problems and homesickness, led Piazzolla to depression. After returning to his family's temporary residence in New York on October 1959 he composed this work in tribute to his father, based on "Nonino", another tango Astor had composed five years earlier in Paris, also dedicated to Vicente Piazzolla.

Dad asked us to leave him alone for a few hours. We went into the kitchen. First there was absolute silence. After a while, we heard dad playing the bandoneon. It was a very sad, terribly sad melody. He was composing "Adiós Nonino".

— Daniel Piazzolla, his son. Astor, Diana Piazzolla, 1986.

Because of its melancholic melody and the fact that Piazzolla wrote it so far from his native country while suffering from severe depression, Adiós Nonino evokes a strong sense of nostalgia and has become a symbol of the Argentine diaspora.


The piece was based on Piazzolla's earlier tango Nonino, composed in Paris in 1954, of which he kept the rhythmic part and re-arranged the rest with some additions. It would prove to be one of Piazzolla's most well-known and popular compositions, and has been recorded many times with many different arrangements and with various instruments.

Nonino is an Argentine variation of the Italian word Grandfather (Nonno) used in the diminutive (Nonnino). The piece was written in honor of Piazzollas recently deceased father who was a grandfather and therefore called familiarly Nonino.

Notable uses[edit]

The piece was played at the royal wedding of Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands and his consort Máxima Zorreguieta in homage to her Argentinian roots.[3] The music has been used by several prominent figure skaters for their programs. Chen Lu used it as her short program music in the 1997–98 figure skating season, which included her 1998 Winter Olympics bronze medal performance. Jeffrey Buttle used it as his short program music for the 2006–07 and 2007–08 figure skating seasons, which included his 2008 World Championship win. The 2010 Olympic champion Kim Yuna also used this piece as her free skate music for the 2013–14 figure skating season, which included her 2014 Winter Olympics silver medal performance.


External links[edit]