Enrique Lannoo

Real name: Lannoo, Enrique
Cellist, leader, composer and arranger
(13 April 1940 - )
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Daniel Pedercini

undamental piece of the second half of the 50s, Enrique joined the history of tango at the same time when the violoncello began to acquire a singular importance in the genre.

He was born in the neighborhood of Parque de los Patricios, pertaining to the city of Buenos Aries. He was the only child of don Enrique Marcelino Lannoo and doña Eugenia Pilar Pereiro. At age five he began his music and piano studies with his mother who was music teacher, but his passion for cello, unknowingly, was already in his genes

Enrique told me: «I wanted to give up piano and thought about violin». To such an extent that, in 1949, while he attended grade school at the Instituto Bernasconi, he enrolled in the music school of the same establishment. He chose the violin course but he was rejected because the course had no vacancies. But the clerk who gave him the bad news suggested him enrolling in the violoncello course. And so it was. There he met the person who would change his life: Ernesto Cobelli, teacher of the Santa Cecilia Conservatory of Italy.

In 1954, and when he was only 14, he joined the symphony orchestra of Radio del Estado (today Radio Nacional), a position granted through competition. Up to the present, he has been the youngest musician that joined a state symphony aggregation as staff member.

«It was a very big satisfaction», says Quique, «But they were unable to pay me cash because I was a minor. Then, the Broadcasting Director decided to open an account at the Caja Nacional de Ahorro Postal (National Account of Postal Savings), so that they would pay me with post stamps which I was then pasting on the famous bankbook».

In that year 1954, the Argentine Union of Musicians and the Asociación del Profesorado Orquestal gave him his card as professional musician.

For the following four years he studied with maestros Luis Gianneo (orchestra conducting), Valenti Costa (choir direction), Washington and José María Castro (interpretation) and Eduardo Rovira along with Teodoro Fuchs (twelve-tone serial harmony).

Besides that and, from 1956, he played in different orchestras, especially in tango aggregations, among them those of Luciano Leocata, Ernesto Rossi, Atilio Stampone, Osvaldo Manzi and Aníbal Troilo, as well as the one led by Kent Hamilton and the Octeto La Plata.

«With El Gordo Troilo I was six months, in 1957, to replace Adrián Fanelli. I was lucky to record with Pichuco, among other numbers, two classics: “Danzarín” and “Quejas de bandoneón”».

He was also summoned by Astor Piazzolla to join his string ensemble. Then a very peculiar situation took place which Enrique himself told me:

«I made my debut with Piazzolla and, soon later, he fired me. We were rehearsing the tango “Si se salva el pibe” with Jorge Sobral on vocals. When the cello solo came, because I was nervous, I played earlier and Astor told me: «Where are you going so much in a hurry, man?» I, jokingly, replied: «To see if the kid recovers» alluding to the lyrics. He fired me and said: «Go away, you fool…». Time later we became great friends. I used to frequent his house very often. Besides recording with him, I teamed up with my great friend José Bragato as a cello duet».

He was co-founder of different groups, among them, the Osvaldo Piro orchestra in the mid- 60s. In that decade Enrique worked in several aggregations at the same time. One day, when he was in the group led by Stampone, the leader himself told him: «Look, Enrique, I’ve heard that maestro Pugliese is looking for you. But you have to take into account that Osvaldo won’t allow you to play in another orchestra but his».

Quique says: «I went to talk with Pugliese and he charmed me, so I tossed everything aside and joined him. I made my debut in 1962 at a nightclub called La Cigale on Corrientes Avenue».

He was with Pugliese until 1968 when some of his players quit to put together the Sexteto Tango. After that, the leader allowed his instrumentalists to form their own groups. So Enrique created and led the Cuarteto Musical Buenos Aires for which he wrote the charts.

Furthermore, he was member of the Symphony Band of the Argentine Army (Banda Sinfónica del Ejército Argentino) in which by presidential decree he wrote and recorded the arrangements of our National Anthem which are played up to the present.

In 1970 he was member of an exquisite aggregation: the Enrique Francini sextet. This line-up has a short tenure because the Francini-Pontier orchestra was again reunited for a tour of Japan in 1973 where they played 86 recitals in which Lannoo was too.

That same year he was appointed art director of TV Channel 7 where he formed and conducted the staff orchestra. Later he traveled worldwide as member of different orchestras

Throughout his brilliant career he has been awarded many prizes and recognitions: Gold Microphone by Radio del Estado; Prize by the Municipal Movie Museum (for his musical contribution); Distinguished Citizen of the City of Buenos Aires and, in 1995, was honored by the Academia Nacional del Tango as Cuadro Académico de la Generación Intermedia (Academician of the Intermediate Generation).

He made a tour of Japan with his group in 2000, appearing in the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It was the first time that an Argentine orchestra played in grade schools of that country. Furthermore, the Hiroshima authorities summoned him to play a tango in front of the mausoleum that remembers the people that disappeared and died because of the atomic bomb.

As composer he has written over a hundred pieces, among them these stand out: “A Horacio Paz”, “Elegía para el amigo negro” (dedicated to Martin Luther King) and “A mis dos maestros” (dedicated to Pugliese and Eduardo Rovira).

In September 2003 he settled in Mar del Plata where he formed again his Cuarteto Musical Buenos Aires, along with Ernesto Scorziello (bandoneon), José Pilato (violin), Eduardo Luc (double bass) and himself (cello, arrangements and leadership).

In 2011 he put together the Mar del Plata Tango Group and made several appearances at the Villa Victoria Ocampo, at the local Consejo Deliberante and in other venues.

The Orquesta Municipal del Tango of Mar del Plata, conducted by Julio Dávila, paid homage to him with the concerto “Tribute to Quique Lannoo, from Gardel to Piazzolla”.

Enrique lives in the same house that his father built in the early 1940, which was the first in the Faro Norte (North lighthouse) neighborhood, where the calm of the place helps his inspiration surrounded by bird songs, eighth and thirty-second notes.

«Look, if I were born again, I would do exactly the same. I spent magnificent times with my great passion, the cello, which day after day goes on nurturing my soul».

Quique Lannoo looks like one of those characters that appeared in the Rico Tipo magazine; porteño, sort of lazy and affectionate. But I add to it the most important features: his integrity and that humility that only the great ones own. An aspect, the latter one, he has not yet taken into account.