Pedro Caldeira Cabral, composer and musicologist, is the pre-eminent virtuoso of the Portuguese guitar. This pear-shaped instrument with six double-strung metal strings, was developed in the 19th century and is cherished throughout Portugal for its passionate resonance as a concert instrument or as simple musical accompaniment for traditional Fado songs. Over the years, a highly complex picking technique was developed which demands supreme skill on the part of the musician while allowing him to articulate razor sharp tones of crystalline clarity. At the age of ten, Cabral took up the instrument and soon began writing his own pieces incorporating elements of medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and popular music.
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