Paganini, Niccolò

VIOLINIST, COMPOSER (ITALY)
BORN 27 Oct 1782, Genova, Liguria - DIED 27 May 1840, Nice, Alpes-Maritimes
GRAVE LOCATION Parma, Emilia-Romagna: Cimitero della Villetta, Viale della Villetta 29 B

Niccolò Paganini was the son of Antonio Paganini, who was unsuccesful as a trader and played the mandolin for additional income. His mother was Teresa Bocciardo. Panagini started playing the violin when he was seven years old and and impressed immediately with his talent. He was taught by Giovanni Servetto and Giacomo Costa. In Parma he was taught by Ferdinando Paer. In 1976 the Paganini's moved to Romairone after the French invaded Genoa. In 1800 he went to Livorno with his father, where he gave concerts. In 1801 he was contracted as first violinist in Lucca. He was also a gifted guitar player, but he preferred to restrict this to private concerts.

In 1805 power in Lucca was transferred to Napoleon's sister Elisa Baciocchi and he was engaged as court violinist. He personally instructed Felice Baciocchi. He moved with the Baciocchi court to Florence in 1807, but in 1809 he left them to concentrate on his freelance career. He toured in the regions around Genoa and Parma. In 1813 his concert at La Scala in Milan was a huge succes and he started to attract attention across Europe. In 1813 he met the singer Antonia Bianchi from Como and he performed together with her. In 1824 they started a love affair and their son Achilles Cyrus Alexander was born on 23 Jul 1825 in Palermo.

After years of performing in Italy, he started a concert tour in Vienna in 1828 that took him all over Europe and lasted until 1831. In 1828 in Vienna his affair with Antonia Bianchi ended. Paganini was a womanizer and contracted syphilis in 1822. He was treated with mercure and opium and this probably was one of the causes of his fragile health and psychological problems. In 1834 he received treatment for tuberculosis in Paris. He recovered, but suffered from health problems for the rest of his life.

He continued his tours in Europe, often taking his son Achilles with him. Paganini ended his concert career in 1834 and returned to his native Genoa. There he worked on the publication of his compositions and violin methods. In 1835 in Parma he was contracted to reorganise the court orchestra by Marie Louise of Austria, but conflicts with the musicians and the court prevented him from completing this task.

In 1836 he started a casino in Paris, but its failure forced him to sell his collection of musical instruments. In 1838 he travelled to Nice. His health detoriated. When in 1840 a priest was sent to him by yhe bishop of Nice to perform the last rites, Paganini sent him away because he didn't believe he was dying. A week later he was dead.
Because of this, and because he had been associated with the devil during his life, he was refused a Catholic burial in Genoa. After an appeal to the pope, his remains were transferred to Genoa four years later, but a burial still didn't take place. In 1876 he was buried in a cemetery in Parma. In 1896 he was reburied at the Cimitero della Villetta.

Related persons
• has a connection with Bonaparte, Maria Pauline
• was painted by Delacroix, Eugène
• influenced Ernst, Heinrich Wilhelm
• was drawn by Ingres, Jean Auguste Dominique
• knew Liszt, Franz

Events
1820/12/28: Paganini publishes his 24 Caprices
The 24 Caprices were 24 difficult pieces of music.
1821/6/27: Paganini is given a Guarnerius violin by a merchant from Genoa
He had pawned his former violin because of a gambling debt. He would use this violin until his death in 1840.

Sources
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Niccol%C3%B2_Paganini
Encyclopedie van de Muziek, 1959
• Adler, Josef, Handbuch der Grabstätten, 2. Band, Die Grabstätte der Europäer, Deutsches Kunstverlag, München, 1986

Images

Paganini's violin at the Palazzo Tursi, Genoa.
Picture by Androom (05 Mar 2014)

 

The grave of Nicolo Paganini at the Cimitero della Villetta, Parma.
Picture by Androom (11 Feb 2017)

 

The grave of Nicolo Paganini at the Cimitero della Villetta, Parma.
Picture by Androom (11 Feb 2017)

 


Pagay, Sophie

Published: 5 Mar 2017
Last update: 5 Mar 2017