AUGUST 7, 1944

PARAGUAYAN GUARANI CLASSICAL GUITARIST AGUSTÍN PÍO BARRIOS DIED

Born on May 5, 1885, in San Bautista de las Misiones, in Southern Paraguay, his mother’s guitar playing inspired him at an early age.  In 1898, Barrios began to study the classical guitar.  Having already surpassed the technical and performing abilities of most guitarists, Barrios began to compose around 1905.  His compositions were modeled after folkloric songs of the countries of South America, but also imitated composition from the Baroque and Romantic periods.  The works of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and Schumann exerted a very strong influence upon him.  Around 1917, he discovered the music of Francisco Tárrega and began composing some of his best works.  On Barrios’ death, the priest who attended him proclaimed, “This is the first time I have witnessed the death of a Saint.”  Following his death, he and his music were forgotten or ignored for nearly two decades.  Artists such as David Russell, John Williams, Wulfin Lieske, and others brought his music back to life through their recordings.  

Source:  Johnna Jeong, “Agustín Barrios Mangoré: The Folkloric, Imitative, and the Religious Influence Behind His Compositions,” cybozone.  Retrieved 7/9/2019, http://www.cybozone.com/fg/jeong.html
Photo:  Unknown, circa 1910.  Public Domain in U.S.:  Pre 1/1/1925.  Public Domain in Paraguay (first published there) under Paraguayan Copyright Law 1328 (1998) as published over 70 years ago.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 70 years or less. 

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