Stamp of the Month: August 2019


Paraguay 5.8.1994
 

Agustín Pío Barrios

The Paraguayan composer Agustín Pío Barrios was born on 5 May 1885 in San Juan Bautista de las Misiones. He died on August 7, 1944 in San Salvador. August 2019 marks the 75th anniversary of his death.
Barrios was trained at the Instituto Paraguayo in Asunción. Already as a teenager he appeared as a guitarist and wrote piano pieces by Bach and Beethoven for guitar. In 1910 he undertook a concert tour to Argentina, which became such a great success that in the next two decades he toured almost all the countries of South and Central America and gave concerts there. In the 1920s, he turned increasingly to the culture of his homeland and played in his concerts transcriptions for guitar by Bach and other European composers as well as own compositions with Native American influences.
Agustín Pío Barrios is considered one of the first guitar virtuosos in South America. He was probably the first classical guitarist to record his own records and the first guitarist to play a complete Bach lute suite with the guitar at a public concert. Barrios composed around 300 own works. They are considered innovative in terms of their expressiveness and their romantic harmony and exploit the full potential of the guitar. Among guitarists, the works of Barrios have a similar meaning as the works of Chopin for the pianists.
 
The video shows the Croatian guitarist Ana Vidović (* 1980) with a movement from the composition “La Catedral” by Agustín Pío Barrios.