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John Duarte (1919-2004) was educated at the Manchester University Faculty of Technology. He worked as a professional chemist until 1969, then abandoned chemistry in favor of full-time dedication to music, after having been persuaded by Len Williams, father of John Williams. His only formal musical education consisted in jazz guitar lessons with Terence "Terry" Usher, the rest he learned by self-instruction. He also worked professionally as a player of the trumpet and double bass, and regularly worked as a jazz musician, among others with Coleman Hawkins and Django Reinhardt. Duarte taught at the London-based Spanish Guitar Centre, which Williams senior had founded and where the young John Williams studied with him. Williams acknowledged the early influence of Duarte by including his works and transcriptions in his first recording. Duarte was in close contact with many of the great guitarists of his time, notably Andrés Segovia, Alexandre Lagoya and Ida Presti, for whom he wrote new compositions. Duartes work shows an exceptionally wide range of styles. Some works reflect the Renaissance style of court lutenists such as John Dowland, other works alternate in style between aleatory, atonal and graphic, contained within a conventionally notated framework and allowing spontaneous reaction between the performers. In many other works he employs a tonal language, often colored by the folk music traditions of various nations, and romantic in mood. "This versatility puzzled some commentators, who found difficulty in perceiving the true Duarte. But this was, in fact, the true Duarte, never easy to categorize, always unpredictable, his agile and fertile mind able and willing to leap without apparent effort from one area of music to another." ('Colin Cooper in Duarte's obituary in The Independent').