For this week’s audio/video treat, we turn to a piece by Napoléon Coste, the great 19th century virtuoso guitarist, composer, arranger, and teacher. Coste (1805–1883) was born in the beautiful Franche-Comté region of eastern France, lived for a period in the far north of the country, near the border with Belgium, and in his mid-20s moved to Paris, where he became acquainted with a number of already established guitarists and composers of music for guitar, such as Fernando Sor, Dionisio Aguado, Ferdinando Carulli, and Matteo Carcassi. By the late 1830s, Coste was writing his own pieces; the one featured in the video, “Rondeau de Concert,” is an early work, believed to have been written and published around 1840.
Playing the piece is a young classical guitarist from Ontario, Canada, named Kristian Del Cantero, who is currently studying under Robert Hamilton at the Royal Conservatory of Music’s Taylor Academy in Toronto. He has won numerous prizes at guitar competitions, including first place at the 2015 Guitar Montreal International Youth Competition and the Buffalo International Youth Competition. This summer he will be studying with Sharon Isbin, and next year he is slated to work with Johannes Möller at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam. Clearly a young man on his way up!
Napoléon Coste and some of his guitar arsenal