Niccolo Paganini

On this date in 1782, violinist Niccolò Paganini was born In Genoa, Italy. He composed his first sonata before the age of 9 and made his first public appearance in 1793. Paginini was appointed first violinist at the Lucca Court, where his diligent application (reportedly practicing up to 15 hours a day as a youth) made him Europe’s foremost virtuoso violinist. Paganini’s acclaimed six-year world tour enthralled audiences with his legendary showmanship, made him wealthy and brought him international celebrity.

He played his own compositions, considered to be so diabolically intricate that the superstitious widely accused him of having made a pact with the devil. Yet his tender passages routinely brought his audience to tears. Paginini retired to his villa in Parma. He lived a religion-free life, refused Catholic sacraments on his deathbed and religious ritual at his burial.

Even his religious biographer, Count Conestabili, admitted Paganini’s “religious indifferentism.” (Vita de Niccolo Paganini, 1851) D. 1840

Freedom From Religion Foundation