NAPOLEON COSTE (1805 - 1883)
Napoléon Coste was born in France in 1805 and was taught the guitar by his mother. As a teenager he became a teacher of the instrument, and appeared in many concerts in the region. At the age of 24 he moved to Paris where he quickly established himself as the leading French virtuoso guitarist. However, by the time he arrived there, the demand for guitarists was in decline, and though his brilliance provided financial stability, he failed to find a publisher for his music which he had to fund himself. He was involved in an accident in 1863, resulting in a broken arm that brought his career to a premature end. He left a significant catalogue of music for the guitar, but much of it quickly fell from the repertoire.