Coste grew up in mainly in Valenciennes. In 1828 or 1829 he settled in Paris and made his career giving concerts and lessons. He studied harmony and counterpoint, probably with his friend Sor. At that time everyone was in Paris: Aguado, Sor, Carulli, Carcassi, and Zani de Ferranti - Regondi was to arrive a little later. For more than two decades Coste was successfully in the middle of things in this golden age. In 1856, he took the 2nd prize in the Makaroff guitar competition in Brussels with the Grande Sérénade op. 30; Mertz won the 1st prize. But now, alongside his teaching, Coste had to take an administrative job to support himself; the decline of the guitar was obviously being felt. He married his pupil Louise Olive Pauilhé in 1871 and continued to teach until 1880. Many of his works have returned to the guitar repertoire, on account of their being newly made available by Chanterelle in the early 1980s. First published in c.1870, his 25 Études op. 38 are gems of late classicism, impeccably harmonised. They never really left the repertoire, and are valuable study material. Coste championed and developed the harmony and technique of his friend Fernando Sor; and as well as being a skillful arranger, he was also an early transcriber of baroque guitar music.