Chiquinha Gonzaga (born Francisca Edwiges Neves Gonzaga) was a Brazilian composer, pianist, and conductor, born October 17, 1847 and died February 28, 1935.

Since Gonzaga was born in to a military family, she received an excellent education. In addition to learning how to read and write, she was taught piano, and fell in love with it at a young age. She wrote her first composition, a holiday piece, when she was only 11.

After some failed relationships, Gonzago moved to Rio de Janeiro in 1876, and worked on composing and playing piano. She found great success, particularly in writing tangos and waltzes, and was well regarded and liked.

We're looking at one of her tangos today: Bijou. This cheerful, upbeat work starts with the left hand playing a repeating rhythm, while the right hand plays an ascending melody before it moves on to the thematic material. Both hands play equally important parts, though very different; the right is melodic, but the left is all about keeping a rhythm. It's a really fun composition, filled with a lot of happiness and joy!

We've found a recording of this wonderful tango for you to enjoy!

Olinda Allessandrini