With Tango After Dark set to open at The Peacock this week, we celebrate the life of the great tango composer Astor Piazzola, whose music features in the show alongside sensational choreography performed by tango superstar German Cornejo and 10 world-class Argentinean dancers.

1921 Astor Pantaleón Piazzolla was born on 11 March in Mar del Plata, Argentina

1925 The Piazzolla family immigrate to Greenwich Village, New York City

1929 Astor’s father, Vicente, buys a bandoneon that he found in a pawn shop and gives it to young Astor

1930 The family move to Little Italy, New York City

1932 11 year old Astor composes his first tango: La Catinga

1933 Astor starts taking music lessons with the classical pianist, Bella Wilda, a student of Rachmaninov

1934 Astor is cast in a film by the French-Argentinean singer and songwriter, Carlos Gardel, playing the role of a newspaper boy in El día que me quiera

1936 The family return to Mar del Plata

1938 At only 17 years old, Astor moves to Buenos Aires, Argentina

1939 Astor joins the orchestra of tango composer and bandoneon player, Anibal Troilo

1941 Astor starts taking lessons with the classical music composer, Alberto Ginaste 1942 He marries his first wife, the artist Dedé Wolff

1943 Astor begins studying with Raúl Spivak, the classical pianist. He composes his first classical works: Preludio No. 1 for Violin and Piano and Suite for Strings and Harps. Astor and Dedé have a daughter: Diana Irene

1944 After a falling out, Astor leaves Troilo, moving over to Francisco Fiorentino’s orchestra. Astor’s second child with Dedé is born: Daniel Hugo

1946 Astor forms his own orchestra and composes his first formal tango: El Desbande

1949 Astor disbands the orchestra, moving his focus away from tango and popular music, and towards classical

1953 Astor wins a grant from the French government at the Fabian Sevitzky Award with his Buenos Aires Symphony, despite a near riot breaking out in the audience provoked by the inclusion of multiple bandoneons in the orchestra

1954 Astor moves to Paris with his wife to study with the composer Nadia Boulanger at the Les Ecoles d’Art Américaines de Fontainebleau

1955 Astor returns to Argentina and forms Octeto Buenos Aires, a tango octet containing two bandoneons and an electric guitar amongst the instruments. With this new ensemble he introduces the world to his nuevo tango, incorporating elements of jazz and classical music into traditional tango

1958 Octeto Buenos Aires disbands and Astor returns to New York

1959 Following the death of his father, Astor composes Adiós Nonino

1960 Astor forms a quintet with Kicho Díaz, Simón Bajour, Jaime Gosis and Horacio Malvicino

1963 Premiere of Tres Tangos Sinfónicos, which wins the Hirsch Prize

1965 The quintet releases the album El Tango, made in collaboration with the writer Jorge Luis Borges

1967 On what would have been their silver wedding anniversary, Astor and Dedé legally separate (the divorce law was not passed in Argentina until 1987)

1968 María de Buenos Aires, an operetta Astor composed in collaboration with the poet Horacio Gerrer, makes its world premiere, with Amelita Baltar in the title role. Astor begins a romantic relationship with the singer

1969 Horacio and Astor team up again, this time on Balada para un loco, which premieres at the First Iberoamerican Music Festival

1971 El pueblo joven, another work from Horacio and Astor, makes its world premieres. Astor forms a new ensemble, Conjunto 9

1973 Astor has a heart attack

1974 The album Summit (Reunión Cumbre), recorded with the jazz saxophonist Gerry Mulligan, is released

1975 Astor and Amelita separate

1978 Astor forms his second quintet. The Quinteto Tango Nuevo tours internationally and makes him famous all over the world

1982 Astor composes Le Grand Tango and dedicates it to the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich

1985 Astor premieres Concerto for Bandoneon and Guitar, and performs in London for the first time, at the Almeida Theatre in Islington

1986 Astor’s score for the film El exilio de Gardel wins the Cesar Award for best film music

1988 Astor composes a score for the film Sur. Astor and Dedé are finally able to divorce, and he marries the television presenter Laura Escalada. The album Carmorra is recorded with Quinteto Tango Nuevo and proves to be the last time he would record with them

1989 Astor forms his last ensemble: Sexteto Nuevo Tango. He records Five Tango Sensation with the world-renowed string quartet, the Kronos Quartet

1990 Astor suffers from a stroke which leaves him in a coma

1992 Astor passes away in Buenos Aires at the age of 71, without ever regaining consciousness Photo: Federico Paleo

Tango After Dark runs at The Peacock from 28 Feb – 17 Mar. Tickets are available now priced from just £15 by calling the Ticket Office on 020 7863 8222 or visit sadlerswells.com