A Genius of the Paraguayan Harp Nicolás Caballero -born on March 20, 1949 in Asunción, Paraguay- is a genius of the Paraguayan harp. This statement arises out of his precocious beginnings as a performer, the breadth of his repertoire, the adoption of techniques that eliminate the limitations of his instrument, his vast training in the art form he professes, the fact that he is a composer and arranger, and evaluations given by great maestros in the field of music. Nicolasito - (a term of endearment, especially for a very young person) as he is known in artistic circles- has plucked the strings since he was three. At four years of age, he debuted in public at the municipal theater of Asunción (Teatro Municipal de Asunción). At six, he went abroad for the first time to perform in Uruguay and Argentina. At the age of seven, performing in the capital of Paraguay with the famous Mexican trio Los Panchos( characterized by their repertoire of romantic songs, boleros above all) earned the epithet of "little grand maestro" bestowed on him by this renowned vocal and instrumental group. Possessing a prodigious natural gift for music, upon disembarking in France he expanded his horizons into music theory studying at the Paris Conservatory where he graduated as an orchestra conductor. Nicolasito also plays numerous other instruments with polished sufficiency: piano, violin, cello, guitar, and percussion instruments, among others. He is also an outstanding arranger and composer of musical works. In 1962, in Moscow, he won the first prize at the Musical Olympics competition which had gathered the crème de la crème in the field of music performance from all the continents. In 1965, he performed for Pope Paul VI at the Vatican. In 1989, he took part in the recording of Soñadores de España by Plácido Domingo. At that time, the harpist was residing in Madrid, the city that was home to him for over two decades. The harp holds no mysteries for him. He has gone beyond it's limitations -the harp is a diatonic instrument par excellence and therefore curtailed in terms of it's sonorous possibilities. For him, however, playing works from Paraguayan folk music, songs that are part of our international heritage, or classical music, is all one and the same to him. Using levers he obtains the chromatic scale. After living the greater part of his life outside his homeland, he returned to Paraguay. Today he lives in a town called Ñemby, 20 kilometers south of the capital, Asunción. To this recording that includes songs considered classical to his repertoire -Campamento Cerro León, Cascada, Mis noches sin ti, Pájaro Campana and Tren lechero- he adds tracks of undoubted value, rescuing them from relative obscurity: Aves del campo, Navidad Triste, Filigrana and Pilarcita. What the performer brings to each completes the richness inherent in these selections of Paraguayan music.
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