Paganini, Niccolo

1782 - 1840

Italian composer who was one of the greatest violinists of all time. His compositions include 24 caprices for violin, and two concertos for violin and orchestra.

Paganini was born in Genoa in 1782, he studied there, at first with his father. He spent eight years, from 1801, at Lucca, later as solo violinist to the court of Napoleon's sister, installed there as ruler by her brother.

From 1810 he travelled as a virtuoso, at first in Italy and then, from 1828, abroad, causing a sensation wherever he went, his phenomenal technique giving rise to rumours of diabolical assistance.

His career went into partial decline from 1834, followed by a significant deterioration in health. He died in Nice in 1840.


Rossini, G. Antonio

1792 - 1868

Italian operatic composer whose style is famous for its frequent long crescendos.

As a son of a horn player and a singer Rossini was taught instruments early in his life.

His first opera was such a big success that a lot of people wanted him to write more pieces. But nevertheless in 1816 his masterpiece "The Barber of Seville" failed although later it received the attention it deserved.

In 1823 Rossini became the director of the Italian Opera in Paris, but when he stopped working he left for Italy only to return in 1853 and stay in Paris until his death in 1868.