To refer to Francisco Tárrega as the father of the classical guitar is by no means hyperbole. All of us who delight in playing and listening to this exquisite instrument owe him a substantial debt. He was born in Villarreal, just north of Valencia on November 21 1852. His father played guitar and while he was away at work, young Francisco did his best to learn the instrument.

At age 10 he was heard by the guitarist Julián Arcas who suggested to the child’s father that he come to Barcelona for further study. Lessons with Arcas went well, but when his teacher was obliged to go on tour, the young Francisco ran away from home and began his musical career playing in Barcelona’s bars and coffee houses. Despite being found and retrieved by his father, he ran away to Valencia and joined a band of gypsies! For the next 12 years Tárrega would hone his skills as a guitarist, becoming one of the instrument’s most accomplished players... Read more here