Giovanni Battista Viotti
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Viotti, Giovanni Battista
Born May 12, 1755, in Fontanetto da Po (Vercelli Province, Italy); died Mar. 3, 1824, in London. Italian violinist, composer, and teacher.
A student of G. Pugnani, Viotti became a court musician in Turin in 1775. In 1781 he played at the court of Catherine II in St. Petersburg. From 1782 to 1792 he lived in Paris, and beginning in 1792, in England and other countries, periodically returning to Paris. Viotti had a decisive influence on the development of the French school of violin (among his pupils was P. Rode). An outstanding virtuoso violinist, Viotti was the composer of numerous works for violin and instrumental chamber ensembles (quartets, trios, duets). Of great significance are his 29 concerti for violin and orchestra, which were an important milestone in the development of the solo instrumental concerto (the most popular is Concerto No. 22 in A minor). Annual international music and dance competitions named after Viotti (founded in 1950) are held in the city of Vercelli.