One of the most important guitarists and composers of the first half of the 19th Century, Matteo Carcassi began his music studies as a pianist. Very soon, however, he selected guitar as his main instrument. At the age of 16, after a highly acclaimed series of performances, young Carcassi began a successful concert career that lasted for more than 30 years. Carcassi played guitar without the fingernails. Carcassi was the first guitar virtuoso to adopt the classical position widely accepted today by placing a stool under the left foot and placing the instrument on the left knee. Carcassi wrote more than 80 compositions for the guitar: fantasies, variations, etudes, sonatas. Carcassi was also known as outstanding teacher. Carcassiís pedagogical works have been widely used by generations of guitarists.