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Paganini, Niccolò

Niccolo Paganini was an Italian composer and violin virtuoso who lived in the nineteenth century. He influenced the Romantic mystique of the expert and revolutionized violin technique as a typical idol. After studying with his father, Paganini trained with G. Servetto, a local violinist, and then with the renowned Giacomo Costa. He debuted in 1793 and went on to study at Parma with Alessandro Rolla and Gaspare Ghiretti. In 1797, he toured Lombardy with his father, and his prestige rose with each performance. Soon after, he gained his freedom and began to engage in reckless gambling and romantic love affairs. He pawned his violin due to gambling debts at one point; a French trader lent him a Guarneri violin for a concert and then gave it back to him after seeing him sing.

Between 1801 and 1807, he composed the 24 Capricci for unaccompanied violin and two collections of six sonatas for violin and guitar, demonstrating his technique's novel features. In 1805, he returned to Italy as a violinist, and Napoleon's niece, Élisa Bonaparte Baciocchi, named him director of music at Piombino. Later, he gave recitals of his works in several Italian cities, and in 1824, he began his long relationship with the singer Antonia Bianchi. Paganini was a massive hit in Vienna in 1828, and his performances in Paris and London in 1831 were similarly spectacular. In 1832, he earned a fortune on a tour of England and Scotland. He moved to Paris in 1833 and commissioned Hector Berlioz to compose his symphony Harold en Italie.

On the other hand, Paganini felt the viola solo was too simple, and he never performed it. He moved to Marseille in 1839, then to Nice, after the loss of the Casino Paganini, a gambling house in which he had invested. Paganini's romantic personality and exploits spawned the mythology of a Mephistophelean figure in his day. His burial in consecrated land was postponed for five years due to rumors that he was in cahoots with the devil and imprisoned for murder. He had a reputation as a miser for a long time, but a more realistic portrayal will consider his ability to be rid of a train of dependent followers and their demands for his alms. Paganini's donation of 20,000 francs to impoverished composer Berlioz was an act of kindness that seemed out of character; perhaps seeing an excellent skill in "Beethoven's heir," Paganini felt was his responsibility to help the composer.  


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