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Antonio Lauro

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Antonio Lauro (August 3, 1917 – April 18, 1986) was a Venezuelan composer, considered to be one of the foremost South American composers for the guitar in the 20th century.

Antonio Lauro was born in Ciudad Bolívar, Venezuela. His father, an Italian immigrant, was a barber who could sing and play the guitar so he taught his son what he could, but died when Antonio was still a child. After the family moved to Caracas, Lauro pursued formal musical study (piano, composition) at the Academia de Música y Declamación, where the distinguished composer Vicente Emilio Sojo (1887-1974) was one of his teachers. A 1932 concert performed in Caracas by Agustín Barrios, the legendary Paraguayan guitarist and composer, so much impressed the young Lauro (already an accomplished folk guitarist) that he was persuaded to abandon piano and violin in favor of the guitar. From 1933, Lauro studied with Raúl Borges (1888-1967), and was introduced to the traditional classical guitar repertoire. In the next decade, Borges’ pupils would also include Rodrigo Riera, José Rafael Cisneros, and Alirio Diaz. These colleagues, especially Díaz, were later responsible for unveiling Lauro’s works to an astonished international audience, introducing these unheard-of works to the likes of Andrés Segovia and John Williams.

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