Niccolò (or Nicolò) Paganini (1782 – 1840) was an Italian violinist. He was the most celebrated violin virtuoso of his time, and left his mark as one of the pillars of modern violin technique.
At the age of five, Paganini started learning the mandolin from his father, and moved to the violin by the age of seven. His musical talents were quickly recognized, earning him numerous scholarships for violin lessons.
An aspect of Paganini's violin techniques concerned his flexibility. He had exceptionally long fingers and was capable of playing three octaves across four strings in a hand span, an extraordinary feat even by today's standards. His seemingly unnatural ability may have been a result of Marfan syndrome.
Paganini was also the inspiration of many prominent composers.
When Paganini came to Vienna, Schubert sold his household goods and bought expensive tickets. Impressed with Paganini's performance, Schubert said, "I heard the voices of angels."
Niccolo Paganini arrived in Paris, Liszt heard him, and like a flash the thought came to him: “What wonderful things might be done with the piano if its technical possibilities were developed as those of the violin have been by Paganini.” He had become the Paganini of the piano, performing feats of virtuosity which no other player could equal.
Paganini is also remembered for his artistic impact on Yngwie Malmsteen, one of the greatest guitarists, and HR/HM(hard rock & heavy metal).
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