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Sarasota, FL - My harp teacher, Ann Hobson Pilot retired from the Boston Symphony Orchestra after 40 years in 2009, the year before I graduated from Boston University. In the years since her retirement, she has commissioned me to arrange several pieces by Astor Piazzolla. My most frequently performed arrangement is a piece entitled Chiquilín de Bachín, which can be heard on two of Pilot's albums, Astor Piazzolla: Escualo (2015) and A Dream (2020).

When Pilot was asked to give a TEDx Talk on her life and career in music, she chose to include a live performance of Chiquilín de Bachín for its themes of adversity and hope. Please enjoy her inspiring story and a beautiful performance, which starts around 5'10". Below is my description of Chiquilín from, where my arrangement can be purchased.

Chiquilín de Bachín is a song composed by Astor Piazzolla set to lyrics written by his friend and colleague, the Uruguayan-Argentine poet, Horacio Ferrer. The song is based on a chiquilín (‘little boy’) Piazzolla and Ferrer knew in real life; a poor 11-year-old named Pablo who spends his nights alone on the streets of Buenos Aires selling flowers to patrons of the theater district’s restaurants and cafés, including one by the name of Bachín.

Piazzolla, though famous for his tangos, sets Chiquilín de Bachín to a waltz. Simple and sad phrases that end in plaintive, yearning cadences depict childlike tenderness, while dark and chromatic harmonies evoke the performer’s lament for the young child’s loss of innocence, and express guilt over such hopeless social injustice.

Above: Visiting with Ann Hobson Pilot in 2017 at her home near Tanglewood, MA.


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