Niccolo Paganini

Niccolo Paganini was born in Genoa, October 27, 1782.

At a very early age he began to receive musical training, at six could play the violin, and at nine made his first public appearance. In 1797, in company with his father, he made a successful tour in Lombardy, and afterward he traveled alone over the greater part of Italy. He was appointed principal violinist to the court chapel at Lucca in 1805, and held this position till 1808. Thereafter, for twenty years, he toured Italy, sometimes in a wandering and obscure manner. A new chapter in his career opened in 1828 with a great triumph in Vienna. From this time his fame was world wide. the wonder he excited was caused not merely by the extraordinary skill and charm of his execution, but also by his personal eccentricities, in which there was something weird and, as many thought, almost demoniacal. In tricks of virtuosity he was an adept. His imitation of the flageolet and his performance of entire pieces on the G string seems especially marvelous. The Emperor of Austria made him court virtuoso, and the King of Prussia bestowed on him a like honor. In Germany, France, and England he was equally successful. Paganini is still the most celebrated of violinists. Among his compositions, which are not numerous, one of the best known is the “Carnival of Venice”.

He died in Nice, May 27, 1840.