Mauro Giuliani was born in Bisceglie on July 27, 1781. He studied violin and cello and only later dedicated himself to the guitar, becoming a virtuoso of that instrument. Indeed, his name will always be connected with the guitar much as Paganini's is tied to the violin. Not finding a place in the Italian musical world - a world that was extremely attentive to vocal music, but not very to instrumental music - where his talent could be exalted, he moved to Vienna. He was twenty-five years old.
In a very brief time in the Austro-Hungarian capital, he triumphed, achieving success as both soloist and as composer and teacher. He cleared the guitar of its role as only a simple instrument of accompaniment, making way for it as a solo instrument. It was in Vienna, in April 1808, when what was probably the first concert in history for solo guitar and orchestra, Op. 30, was performed.
In 1819 he returned to Italy and spent a period in Rome where he met and made friends with Paganini and Rossini
He died ten years later in Naples in precarious economic conditions. Giuliani left 150 compositions for guitar. Of note are the three concerts for guitar and orchestra (op. 30, 36 and 70); the famous Rossiniane
, that is the variations on operatic themes of the composer from Pescara (op. 119-129); various sonatas for violin and guitar and a famous quintet.
It was thanks to Giuliani that, in the first half of the 1800's in Vienna and Paris, the guitar reached a level of popularity that can only be compared with that which the piano reached in the second half of the century, superseding the guitar.