Alberto López Buchardo

Real name: López Buchardo, Ramón Alberto
Pianist and composer
(21 August 1882 - 28 May 1948)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
León Benarós

e was born in Buenos Aires and very little is known about his existence differently to his brother Carlos, who devoted to serious music, achieved the necessary prestige so that the Conservatorio Nacional bears his name. But he committed a juvenile sin: he composed a tango titled “Pare el tranguay, mayoral” (Stop the streetcar, driver), published in the Caras y Caretas magazine in 1905.

Alberto, instead, was inclined to a high level bohemia, with memorable stays in Paris. Someone told us that in his later years, in a little town of Córdoba, —convalescent of a phthisis that so many victims had caused among the boys of his time—, he used to play piano wearing gloves. We don’t know the reason.

He composed several tangos. It is possible that he had not yet composed the best of them all: “Germaine”, a fine tango, when his friend Emilio González Ortiz dedicated a piece to him titled “Buchardito”, «dedicated to the distinguished composer and friend». In the caricature of the cover of the published sheetmusic, he is painted holding a roll in his left hand on which we can read some of his compositions: the tangos “Entre dos fuegos”, “París”, “Mala sombra”, “El chiquito”, “Clínicas”, “Baisers perdues” (lost kisses), “Mala firma” and “Perfiles criollos”.

In 1903 he was already in Paris, after having quit his studies in the school of medicine. He found an exultant city and it cast a spell on him. He was about to study painting and was beginning to get in touch with different artists.

At the workshop of a renowned painter he met Georgette Leroy whom he later married. When years later tango began to be known in the city, he was one of its main instigators.

Along with other Argentines he taught tango dancing and he played on piano the first melodies that were arriving. He offered to show business impresarios the idea of opening venues in a complete Argentine style, from meals to music. In an interview, published in 1953 in the La Prensa newspaper, his then aged wife said that Buchardo was the intellectual creator of El Garrón. A photograph shown by the lady gives us an idea of the figure of the musician. On it he is seen with tight trousers, shoes and shirt, all in white. Blue waistcoat and jacket of the same color, black tie, a gold chain going from a pocket to a central buttonhole. He wore a hat, also white, tilted backwards, which allowed us to see the beginning of a curly hair parted in the middle. In one of his hands he had a lit cigarette, in the other, a pair of gloves.

This is, scarcely, an approach to someone who is completely forgotten for tango. One of the many boys, sons of wealthy parents, who spent their crazy juvenile days in that bohemian environment and, unknowingly, were ambassadors and promoters of the music that represent us as a nation.