Paganini was born in 1782 in Genoa, and he had the admiration of those around him during his lifetime. Although they were fascinated by him and his performances, people were scared, considering him the devil’s violinist because of his extraordinary abilities.
Niccolo Paganini’s Beginnings
He learned to play the mandolin at the age of five, playing the violin two years later. He is said to have had an amazing ability to learn, quickly surpassing the teachers his father sent him, such as Giovanni Servetto or Giacomo Costa. Because the young Paganini was evolving rapidly, his father decided that he needed to be taken to Parma by Alessandro Rolla. When Rolla heard him singing, he sent him to his own teacher, Ferdinando Paer. But shortly, Paer sends him, to Professor Gasparo Ghiretti. Paganini will be influenced by everyone in terms of technique and musical style.
A Successful Career
Although there were many very good musicians, famous in Europe, he attracted the crowds in a special way, many considering that he made a pact with the devil and sold his soul in exchange for his incredible talent.
It seems that Paganini was the first musician to sing from memory and was able to move on stage and interact with the audience. Moreover, he had become famous for his difficult solos that no one could reproduce. The violinist also invented or popularized a number of violin techniques used today. At one point, during a concert in Vienna, one of the spectators said that, for a moment, he could see how the devil helped Paganini to sing, moving his arm. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bJkh_h28xU
Paganini’s Last Years
Due to his poor health condition, he returned to Genoa, ending his career as a violinist. In 1836, he opened a casino which brought him to the brink of bankruptcy and in 1840, Paganini died from internal hemorrhaging. The Church denied his body a Catholic burial in Genoa because of the rumors about his so-called association with the devil. Only many years after his death, his body was buried in a new cemetery in Parma (1896).