Napoleón Coste

Born: 27th June 1805

Died: 17th February 1883

Birthplace: Amondans (Doubs), France

Napoléon Coste was a French guitarist and composer. He was first taught the guitar by his mother, an accomplished player. As a teenager he became a teacher of the instrument and appeared in many concerts in the Franche-Comté. At the age of 24, he moved to Paris where he studied under Fernando Sor and quickly established himself as the leading French virtuoso guitarist. However, the demand for guitarists was in decline and, though his brilliance provided financial stability, he failed to find a publisher for his music and had to fund its publication himself. Coste broke his arm in 1863, which brought his performing career to a premature end. He continued to teach guitar and composition. After Sor's death, Coste edited and republished Sor's original method for guitar. Coste was a member of the masonic lodge Les Frères Unis Inséparables. He is known as one of the first composers to transcribe guitar music of the 17th century into modern notation. He died at age 77 leaving a significant catalogue.

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