Fernando Sor (1778-1839) was a composer
of music for the classical guitar
and arguably the greatest guitarist of the romantic era. Together with Andres Segovia
, he is credited with legitimizing the use of the guitar for classical music.
Born in Barcelona in 1778, Sor lived there until 1812 and spent the rest of his life in Paris, Moscow and London, also touring Europe extensively to play his compositions.
Sor wrote over 250 pieces of music. His first published piece was an opera at the age of eighteen. Later in life he composed piano, orchestra and voice pieces, but the majority of his work was for the guitar. He was also very accomplished with the instrument himself; one contemporary called him "the most perfect guitarist in the world", and he was chosen as the first guitarist to perform with the London Philharmonic Society.
He published guitar music for players of all skill levels. His crowning acheivement was his "Method for the Guitar", but he is perhaps most famous for his several studies, which are oriented towards beginners. The famous guitarist Andres Segovia was so impressed by Sor's studies that he chose twenty and published them for use by beginning students of guitar. These studies are favorites because they're challenging and entertaining (and often quite beautiful) yet still very playable.
MIDIs of the twenty studies can be found here, for use as a guide in playing: