Interesting facts about Paganini

Posted on Mar 11, 2022      110

The famous violinist Niccolò Paganini, aka the “devil violinist,” had some kind of supernatural talent. There were very gifted musicians both before and after him, but none of them could even approach the level of mastery of this Italian maestro, who amazed all his contemporaries. In addition, the life of Paganini, undoubtedly very interesting, is still shrouded in mystery in many moments.

Facts from the biography of Paganini

  • The violinist’s father was obsessed with music. He tried unsuccessfully to teach Carlo, Niccolo’s older brother, and then switched to him. Paganini senior locked his offspring in a closet and made him play music all day long.
  • Paganini had five brothers and sisters.
  • Throughout his life, Paganini was noted for his rather poor health.
  • He was secretive, had no pupils, did not reveal his secrets of playing and practically never published his works. Because of this secrecy, few reliable facts about Paganini’s biography have reached us.
  • Even during his lifetime, he achieved such a resounding fame that his last name became a common noun for a musician, even if it was a joke.
  • At five, Niccolo Paganini mastered playing the mandolin, it was his first musical instrument. A year later, he mastered the violin.
  • According to reminiscences of his contemporaries, the violinist was quite a gloomy and reserved person, and he truly lived only on the stage with a violin in his hands.
  • When Niccolò Paganini was only eight years old, he wrote his first sonata in piano before the violin.

  • As a child, his father made him practice so much music that the young Niccolo fell into a coma from the excessive workload. He was even nearly buried, having been thought to be dead.
  • During his lifetime, Niccolò Paganini was a darling of women. He even had brief affairs with two sisters of the French Emperor Napoleon.
  • When Paganini was still a child, his father brought him to a famous violinist named Alessandro Rolla. The latter heard the child playing and said he could not teach him anything as he already knew how to do everything.
  • Throughout his life, Niccolo Paganini was practicing the violin almost every day, spending two or three hours and even more.
  • For some time, the violinist was the captain of the private guard of Elsa Bonaparte, Napoleon’s sister.
  • Niccolò Paganini gave his first concert when he was only 11 years old.
  • The violinist lived for three years with a certain noble lady in a secluded estate. He concealed everything he could so carefully that, to this day, no one knows who the lady was.
  • Paganini once played a violin with only one string on a dare.
  • His other interesting bet was that he could conduct an entire orchestra on a violin with 2 strings. This argument Paganini also won.

  • All his life, Paganini was a very gambling man. He adored cards and often lost enormous sums of money.
  • Some superstitious people believed he sold his soul to the devil for his talent. That is why he was sometimes behind his back referred to as the “devil’s violinist”.
  • Paganini himself was a very superstitious man, judging by the scraps of his biography that have survived.
  • Because of rumors of Paganini’s “collaboration” with the devil, the church even tried to ban his concerts, and after his death, the bishop refused to give him a funeral until the Pope intervened personally.
  • Niccolo Paganini owned a priceless collection of violins. He bequeathed the most beloved of them to Genoa, his hometown, as he did not want anyone else to play them after him. It is still kept in a museum and is called “Paganini’s Widow”.
  • When the English king wanted Paganini to give him a private concert, but offered only half the money for it, the violinist responded by asking the thrifty monarch to attend his concert at the theater.
  • It is often mentioned in Paganini’s biography that he was a very absent-minded man. Often he forgot and confused even his own birthday, and in response to remarks he replied that his memory was not in his head, but in the hands that held the violin.
  • The talented violinist was never married, but left behind a son. After he separated from his mother, Paganini obtained sole custody of his offspring, and since then he began asking for vast sums of money for his concerts, wishing to leave his son a large inheritance.