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Musicologist dr Ari van Vliet is researching life and works of the French guitarist/composer Napoléon Coste (1805-1883). Coste settled in Paris in the end of 1828, was a friend of Fernando Sor, gave concerts as a guitar virtuoso and composed an oeuvre of 53 opus numbers. His biography has been published in 2016 with the title: 

Napoléon Coste: Composer and Guitarist in the Musical Life of 19th-century Paris

as a translation and elaboration of the PhD dissertation for the degree of doctor at the Utrecht University by Ari van Vliet.

"...which must be the definitive work on the influential and important French composer." - Classical Guitar, Summer 2016

"... impressive two-volume tome... detailed, heavily illustrated biography, extensive analysis of 45 of his works for solo guitar and a thematic catalogue of every known work by the composer.' - Classical Guitar, Winter 2016

"It is the magisterial modern biography that Napoléon Coste and the guitar have deserved." - Soundboard Scolar, 2017


The book is published in English and consists of two volumes, a biography on life and works of Coste and a thematic catalogue of all his works, in addition to a descriptive analysis. A compact disc with Coste's most important works is part of the biography, Souvenirs opus 17-23, Fantaisie symphonique opus 28[b] (first recording) and Le Passage des Alpes opus 27, 28 & 40, performed by Ari van Vliet on a Kresse copy of Coste's original Lacôte heptacorde guitar.

As a musician and a musicologist dr Ari van Vliet is giving lecture-recitals and is writing articles upon several subjects of guitar history: guitarcheology.


2017, review 'Reviews', in: Soundboard Scolar, 2017: "It is the magisterial modern biography that Napoléon Coste and the guitar have deserved."

2017, lecture Modern Times, Hemmenhofen, 6th Konstanz Guitar Research Meeting

2016, review 'Reverberations', in: Classical Guitar, Winter 2016: "... impressive two-volume tome... detailed, heavily illustrated biography, extensive analysis of 45 of his works for solo guitar and a thematic catalogue of every known work by the composer.'

2016, review 'Publications', in: Classical Guitar, Summer 2016: "...which must be the definitive work on the influential and important French composer."

2016, artikel 'Sor and Coste', in: Soundboard, The Journal of the GFA, Vol. 42 No. 4

2016, lecture Introducing Modernism, Melbourne, Conservatorium of Music

2016, Artikel 'Die Entdeckung eines grossen romantischen Komponisten und Gitaristen' in: EGTA DE E-Journal 

2016, recital-lecture Revelation Napoléon Coste, Denver, Guitar Foundation of America

2016, publication Napoléon Coste: Composer and Guitarist in the Musical Life of 19th-century Paris, Biography, Thematic Catalogue, Compact Disc, Cumuli foundation.