Antonio Lauro is probably Venezuela's best-known composer of classical music, although his name is probably not familiar to anyone but aficionados of guitar music. At the Caracas conservatory he started out on the academically approved piano, but hearing Paraguayan guitarist Agustín Barrios inspired him to switch to the guitar. That was in one respect his salvation and in another his downfall. Few Latin American composers have seen their works enter the international repertory, but Lauro's guitar pieces, especially his Venezuelan Waltzes, have been readily taken up by guitarists. On the other hand, his significant catalog of non-guitar music is almost completely ignored. Lauro wrote symphonic suites, choruses, songs, and a choral symphonic poem called Cantacharo, but only his solo guitar pieces are played and recorded with any regularity; in 1956 he also wrote a concerto for his instrument. International attention came to Lauro only during his last decades, so it is often forgotten that he spent many of his earlier years in a folk trio called Los Cantores del Trópico.