Carlos Jose Castro
received the prestigious Latin Grammy award in the category of "Best Composer Contemporary Classical Music" in 2008 for his Concierto del Sol (recorded by guitarist Mario Ulloa with the Orquesta Filarmonica de Costa Rica, directed by Marvin Araya). He is also a three-time winner of the National Music Prize Aquileo J. Echeverria, the highest award given by the Ministry of Culture of Costa Rica. His music sweeps all genres: orchestral, concerto, chamber, theatre, as well as music for solo guitar, and has been performed in Cuba, Mexico, the United States, Germany, Poland, Spain, France, Italy, and Costa Rica. Carlos Jose Castro studied at the Conservatorio Castella, the Universidad de Costa Rica, and the CIDESIN (Interamerican Center for Instrumental Studies). His teachers include Benjamin Gutierrez, Rand Steiger, Blas Emilio Atehortua, Leo Brouwer, David Vayo, and Bernal Flores. He currently teaches musical theory at the Instituto Nacional de la Musica and the University of Costa Rica, a work he combines with freelance composing, music producing, and scriptwriting.
I wish to thank Carlos Jose Castro for the gift of this wonderful sonata and, most importantly, for the close friendship I have enjoyed for many years with him and his remarkable family. Carlos left it to me to decide on fingerings; however, he knows the guitar very well, and therefore every note fell into place easily and idiomatically without much effort on my part. I also appreciate the conscientious help of guitarist Brendan Lake for proofreading and helpful editorial suggestions. The cover art image is of an original oil painting by Mario Castro Coto, the composer's cousin, who was born in the Limon Province of Costa Rica in 1953. A graduate of the School of Arts, University of Costa Rica, he became the most distinguished Costa Rican painter specializing in portrayals of Afro-Costa Rican women of the Caribbean coast. His works are found in collections in Europe, the United States, and Latin America, with exhibitions in the most important private and public Costa Rican art galleries.