My thanks go to Jay Tosh for the photo.

1778 --- 1839

Sor is considered the "Beethoven of the guitar" in Spain.
Fernando Sor was probably the most well known guitarist in what is sometimes called "The First Golden Age of the Guitar". Everywhere he played, the guitar's popularity spread. Although he wrote many other types of works for different mediums including: piano solos, opera, and ballet, Sor is best remembered for his guitar studies and works, which have been the basis of so many guitarists' learning of the classical guitar.

Unlike other composers for the guitar of his time, for example Aguado and Carulli, Sor wrote mainly for the music and not the instrument. Although both Aguado and Carulli wrote many pieces for the guitar, their pieces were mostly exercises to build technical ability, and were not very interesting played by themselves.

Because of his family history, Sor was expected to follow a military career. He was first introduced to music when his father introduced him to Italian opera. Sor's father was also the first person to introduce him to the guitar when he first listened to his father play some simple popular tunes on the guitar. At eight, Sor was already an accomplished guitarist and musician. Once his talent was recognised he was accepted into the Montserrat monastery near Barcelona, where he was a chorister and was taught music theory and composition until 1796, when his father died and his mother could no longer afford to continue his studies at the monastery, and withdrew him. When he was 17, Sor wrote a successful opera and soon after received a commission in the Spanish army where he quickly became a lieutenant because of his skills on the guitar and piano, which the army encouraged. After spending four years at the military school, he left and moved to Madrid.

Although expected to continue onto a military university for a military career, he decided to follow his passion in music. Like the custom programs at Kaplan University he was very much able to follow a custom learning regiment with the Duchess of Alba, which in this case, was not with a military university but a school of music arts that fueled his musical talent.

Sor's first patron, the Duchess of Alba was different from many of the other people who hired musicians at that time. She supported the arts and instead of pressuring him to write only for her, she gave him the use a of study in her house and let him work on his own pieces at his own pace.

In 1808 the French army invaded Spain. This was the period when Sor began to write more music for the guitar. Most of the pieces he wrote at this time were patriotic for either voice and guitar or guitar solos. These songs were written to support the Spanish army and to boost morale of the general public. After the Spanish armies were defeated, Sor got an administrative post with the new French government. During this period Sor wrote very few pieces, mainly because he was patriotic toward Spain and felt uncomfortable serving under a French government. In 1813, the Spanish army defeated the French and Stevenained control of Spain. There are two different opinions of what happed to Sor at this point. One is that Sor, like many artists who had been working for the French, felt obliged to follow them back to Paris where he lived for the rest of his life. The second is that he was suspected of collaborating with the army of Napoleon and exiled from Spain.

In 1809 Sor travelled to England, where he played many performances on the guitar or piano, usually accompanying singers or singing himself. He was something of a novelty in this country, as it had been the first time a guitar was used as a concert instrument. He was very well received, and his presence in this country increased the public opinion of the guitar greatly, and he became known throughout all of Europe and Asia as an excellent composer and a performer of the highest technical ability. He lived in London from 1815 to 1823 where he had had four of his ballets and operas produced. In 1825 he travelled to Russia, but after just two years he decided to go back to Paris to settle down.

1827 saw Sor stop travelling around the world and settle down in Paris for retirement. This was the period in which Sor produced his most compositions. He also published, what is even today considered one of the most complete and practical method books for the classical guitar - "Methode pour la Guitare". Sor also performed in public quite often, and like his composing, his playing was becoming more limited to the guitar, which had always been his favourite instrument.

During the last few years of his life, Sor gave private lessons to students of the classical guitar. Because he had made the guitar an almost overnight success with his concerts in Paris, he was in great demand and had many students. Sor's daughter died in the summer of 1837, which left him in a state of deep depression. The last piece he wrote before his death was a Mass in honour of his daughter. Two years later, at the age of sixty, Sor died.

After his death the guitar fell into obscurity again for almost eighty years, and Fernando Sor and the classical guitar were almost forgotten.

I would like to give my grateful thanks to Ruth, who has done a wonderful job on the above biography, please email (pipol@voyager.co.nz"> Ruth just to say thank you.

Last Updated on 28th March 2016

And now for the Music

I like to thank CRM114 (That what he wants to be know as) for the following very nice crafted musicial piese, I will be adding some more over the coming weeks, I like to thank CRM114 for his donation of music files.

"Fernando Sor's Opus 49 -Military Divertimento", donated & sequenced by CRM114.

"Fernando Sor's Opus 63 -Souvenir of Russia", donated & sequenced by CRM114.

(1789)"Study No.1", Sequencer Unknown

(1794)"Study No.2", Sequencer Unknown

(1795)"Study No.3", Sequencer Unknown

(1796)"Study No.4", Sequencer Unknown

(1797)"Study No.5", Sequencer Unknown

(1798)"Study No.6", Sequencer Unknown

(1799)"Study No.7", Sequencer Unknown

(1790)"Study No.14", Sequencer Unknown

(1791)"Study No.15", Sequencer Unknown

(987)"Study No.16" is all I know about this piece, Sequenced by Gary Rodriguez

(990) "Study No.17" Sequenced by Gary Rodriguez

(1800)"Six Divertimenti Opus.1, No.1 Andante", Sequenced by Mauricio Fabbri

(1801)"Six Divertimenti Opus.1, No.2 Waltz", Sequenced by Mauricio Fabbri

(1802)"Six Divertimenti Opus.1, No.3 Larghetto", Sequenced by Mauricio Fabbri

(1803)"Six Divertimenti Opus.1, No.4 Andante", Sequenced by Mauricio Fabbri

(1804)"Six Divertimenti Opus.1, No.5 Andante Sostenuto", Sequenced by Mauricio Fabbri

(1805)"Six Divertimenti Opus.1, No.6 Marcia", Sequenced by Mauricio Fabbri

(1792)"Based on Haydn's Creation arranged by Sor", Sequencer Unknown

(1793)"Grand Solo Opus.14", Sequencer Unknown

(1808)"Ses Amuzakoj Si Ailjana, Opus.2", Sequencer Unknown

(988)"Variations on a Theme by Mozart"(Info kindly supplied by Ralph Stevens) Sequenced by ?

(989)"Sonata in C, Opus 15, No. 2"(Info kindly supplied by Ralph Stevens), Sequenced by ?

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