9 Pages

1 Buenos Aires

The story of Mauricio Kagel's birth could be taken from one of his own pieces: born on Christmas Eve in a Catholic hospital, the nurse insisted that the new-born child be christened Jesus. The importance of Kagel's Jewish background in particular has only recently become a topic of discussion. Buenos Aires had and still has one of the largest Jewish communities of the diaspora, and so Kagel saw Shakespeare in Yiddish before experiencing his work in Spanish or English. The influx of refugees from Europe helped to transform Buenos Aires into one of the most vibrant cities in the world as far as its musical life was concerned. The programme policy of the Agrupación, together with that of its more conservative and nationalist 'rival', the Grupo Renovación, a picture of advanced contemporary music in Buenos Aires as diverse as that of any European or North-American city of the time.