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Paganini, Nicolo
Niccolo Paganini
October 27, 1782 – May 27, 1840

Italian composer Niccolò Paganini is widely regarded as the most skilled violinist of all time. His mastery was so exceptional that he raised the expectation of skill for all instrumentalists of his generation. He had a direct influence on Franz Liszt, who attempted to emulate his virtuosity but on the piano (and succeeded).

Paganini inherited musical talents from his father, who was a mandolinist. It was at his father’s side that he first experienced music, learning violin from him. Paganini quickly outgrew his father’s instruction, and trained with Giacomo Costa in San Lorenzo. By 11 he was performing, and became a success.

His life quickly collapsed into a mess of gambling and drinking. Luckily an anonymous patron extracted him from this environment, and furthered his studies in private for three years.

When Paganini emerged, he had become a true master. He toured outside of Italy, and achieved fame. His compositions were known for being inventive, demanding, and elaborate. Later composers, such as Brahms, Rachmaninov, and Lloyd Webber adapted these technical works to create their own pieces.

Notable works:
Violin Concerto #1 in D Major

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