Matteo Carcassi (Florence, Italy, 1792 - Paris, France, 1853) was a famous guitarist and composer. Carcassi started playing music on the piano, but learnt guitar when still a child. He obtained a virtuoso reputation as a concert guitarist very quickly.
He moved to Germany in 1810, gaining almost immediate success. In 1815, he was living in Paris, earning his living as a teacher of both the piano and the guitar. Germany was where he met his friend Antoine Meissonnier for the first time, on a concert tour in 1819. A famous guitarist too, Meissonnier was the one who published many of Carcassi's works in his Paris publishing house.
From 1820 on, with few interruptions, Carcassi stayed in Paris for most of his time. In 1822, he performed an extremely successful series of concerts in London that gained him great fame, both as a performing artist and as a teacher.
In Paris, a long time passed before he was recognised for his value, also because of the overwhelming consideration tributed to Fernando Carulli, quite a hero for his audience.
Carcassi was in Germany again during fall 1824, and later went to London where his reputation gave him access to greater concert halls, then he went back to Paris, definitively. About every year, he made concert trips from here to the most important cultural towns of Europe, London included. After a short return in 1836, he quit his concert practice around 1840 and died in the french capital in 1853.
Carcassi wrote a method for guitar (op. 59) that still now is valuable and interesting. His most famous works are collected in his 25 Etudes op.60. In these, he managed to blend technical skills and brilliant romantic music. Which is why he is still played by so many classical guitarists after all these years.
He also wrote several brilliant transcriptions of popular opera arias.