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Fernando Sor


Fernando Sor, one of the great figures in the history of the guitar, was an all-round musician and composer. Although he was acknowledged in his lifetime as a fine performer (‘Sor … who is known to be the most perfect guitarist in the world’, wrote Ebers in London), he was not associated with that instrument as strongly as was, for example, Giuliani. He had been a chorister at the monastery of Montserrat (near Barcelona), where he received an education in church music and composition and in orchestral playing, and later in life he composed music not only for the guitar but also for voice, piano, orchestra, etc.

Until 1813 (when he was 35) he lived entirely in Spain. He composed seguidillas there for voice and guitar (some with piano), symphonies, operas, and some guitar music such as the famous piece now known as Grand Solo, op. 14. He fought in the Spanish War of Independence when Napoleon invaded Spain in 1808.

After a brief stay in Paris in 1813, Sor settled in London where he published his marvellous and justly celebrated set of studies now known as op. 6, the Variations on a Theme of Mozart, and many other works such as Italian Arietts for voice and piano. A journey to Moscow followed and Sor then spent the rest of his life in Paris. He became a teacher of the guitar and it was there that he composed the many works for beginners on the guitar – opp. 31, 35, and 60 – which have been called the finest works ever written for beginners on the instrument. I published all his studies and works for beginners in a modern re-engraved edition called Sor’s Complete Studies, Lessons, and Exercises (Tecla 101), and also the English translation of his Method.

Sor’s reputation has rested on his guitar music, and my new re-engraved critical edition, the New Complete Works for guitar in eleven volumes, is now available, some of which can be also seen online at our sister company Hebe. The facsimile edition in nine volumes, the Complete Works for guitar published by Tecla (reprints of the original editions), has been a standard edition for the last twenty years. The biography of Sor can be read in my book Fernando Sor, Composer and Guitarist, and his Seguidillas and More Seguidillas are also available. A new publication November 2002: Italian songs which he composed in London, The Complete Italian Arietts etc.


Fernando Sor
Date of birth
13 februari 1778

4 albums

139 tracks