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Giovanni Battista Viotti

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Giovanni Battista Viotti (May 12, 1755 March 3, 1824) was an Italian violinist whose virtuosity was famed and whose work as a composer featured a prominent violin and an appealing lyrical tunefulness. He was also a director of French and Italian opera companies in Paris and London.

Viotti was born at Fontanetto Po in the Savoia Kingdom of Sardinia (today the province of Vercelli, Piedmont, Italy). For his musical talent, he was taken into the household of principe Alfonso dal Pozzo della Cisterna in Turin, where he received a musical education that prepared him to be a pupil of Gaetano Pugnani. He served at the Savoia court in Turin, 1775-80, then toured as a soloist, at first with Pugnani, before going to Paris alone, where he made his début at the Concert Spirituel, 17 March 1782. He was an instant sensation and served for a time at Versailles before founding a new opera house, the Théâtre de Monsieur in 1788, under the patronage of the comte d’Artois, the king’s brother; there he mounted operas of his friend Luigi Cherubini among less lights. When the French Revolution took a radical turn and, though his opera house was renamed the Théâtre Feydeau, former royal connections became a dangerous liability, he moved in 1792 to London, making his début at Johann Peter Salomon’s Hanover Square Concert, 7 February 1793. In London he went from success to success, as a featured violinist for Salomon’s concert series, 1793-1794; as musical director of the new Opera Concerts in 1795; as a star in the benefit concerts for Haydn, 1794 and 1795; as acting manager of Italian opera at the King’s Theatre, 1794-1795; and as leader and director of the orchestra, 1797.

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  • KraeheK

    The violin concertos appear to be full of melodic richness :D There's a lot, but fortunately, like Haydn, they don't suck.

    12 Sep 2008 Reply
  • Alucard89

    <3

    7 May 2008 Reply

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