Italian virtuoso violinist Niccol Paganini might be an ideal example of nature meets nurture. Instructed the violin by his dad as a kid and tutored by the most effective teachers, Paganini was considered a prodigy. The ferocity with which he played , coupled together with his elongated fingers and remarkable flexibility, gave him a cryptic, almost legendary reputation. Mobbed in the road and rumored to really have a deal with the devil to reach the peaks of his virtuoso performances, he ultimately became considered the best violinist of time.
The older Paganini was in the transportation company, however he also played the mandolin and started teaching his son the violin for a very young age. Niccolo’s mom had high hopes of her son being a renowned violist.
When Niccolo had exhausted his dad’s skills, he was sent to the top coaches in Genoa, mainly in the theatre, where he learned harmony and counterpoint. He’d been affected by the work of Auguste Frdric Durand, a Franco Polish violin virtuoso who had a reputation for showmanship.
So, the son moved on to Alexandro Rolla in Parma, who had been so impressed with all the prodigy he believed the wisest course for him was composition. After an intensive course of study, Paganini returned to Genoa and started composing and performing, mostly in churches. He also set his own agenda of extensive training, occasionally 15 hours a day, practicing his own compositions, which were generally rather complex, even for himself.
By 1801, Niccol Paganini, who had been used to touring along with his dad by this time, went to Lucca to perform in the Festival of Santa Croce. His appearance proved to be a rousing success, endearing himself to town. But he had a weakness for gambling, womanizing and booze, apparently having a dysfunction early in his career because of the latter.
He eventually grew uneasy and returned to the life span of a virtuoso, touring Europe, amassing riches by enchanting audiences using the ferocity or empathy of his playing—crowds were said to have burst into tears at his performance of bid passages. One patron was purportedly so moved with a performance he gave Paganini a enviable Guarnerius violin. Another vowed he’d seen he’d seen the demon helping Paganini having a specially impassioned performance.
Paganini’s reputation started to take on mythic proportions—he was frequently mobbed in the streets. His pure ability, showmanship and commitment to his craft was additionally augmented by perhaps two physical syndromes: Marfan’s as well as Ehlers Danlos—one giving him specially long limbs, especially fingers, the other giving him incredible flexibility. He moved to Nice, France, to recuperate, but died there on May 27, 1840. Paganini is considered possibly the most important violinist that ever lived and his compositions, including 24 Caprices, for violin alone are a number of the very complicated pieces ever composed for the instrument.