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Giovanni Bottesini


(b. Crema, 22 Dec 1821; d. Parma, 7 July 1889).
Italian double bass player, conductor and composer. He studied at the Milan Conservatory, became principal bass at the Teatro S Benedetto, Venice, and toured in Europe and North America. Playing a three-string instrument tuned a tone higher than was usual, he was nicknamed the "Paganini of the double bass" for his agility, pure tone and intonation. He was a lifelong friend of Verdi and held conducting appointments at theatres in Paris, Palermo, Spain, Portugal and London. Among his stage works, Vinciguerra il bandito (1870) and Ero e Leandro (1879, libretto by Boito) were well received. It is for his numerous technically demanding double bass compositions, expanding the instrument's compass, that he is best remembered.
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