Manuel Ponce was born in Zacatecas, Mexico. He spent his early career composing, conducting, teaching, and writing music criticism in Mexico. He moved to Paris in the 1920s and after studying with the French composer Paul Dukas, Ponce abandoned the genteel salon-music style then prevalent in Mexico, and began applying an impressionistic idiom to works with concise structures and skilled counterpoint. Later on, he developed a nationalistic style in which he expressed his Mexican origins. Ponce was a very close friend of guitarist Andres Segovia, for whom he wrote almost all of his guitar music. His guitar works in this style became standards in the modern guitar repertoire; his other compositions include orchestral, chamber, and piano music and songs, the most famous of which is Estrellita (1914).