b Genoa, 17 October 1782
d Nice, 27 May 1840, aged fifty-seven
The son of a dockyard worker, he was a violin virtuoso by the time he was eleven, and received tuition from famous teachers. In his mid-teens a number of concerts in Italy ensured that he was no longer poverty-stricken, but success made him gamble and drink so heavily that it nearly killed him. Nursed back to health by a noblewoman who befriended him, he resumed giving concerts at the age of twenty-three, but in 1824 his indulgences caused another breakdown. After his recovery in 1827 he made triumphant tours of Austria, Germany, France, and Westphalia where he was made a baron. He also visited Britain. In the late 1830s his health and his luck began to fail, and he died of a disease of the larynx. His legendary pact with the Devil ensured that he could not be buried in consecrated ground, and his body continued to be moved around until 1926.
Variations on 'La Carmagnole'
Polacca con Variazione, for violin and orchestra
Le Streghe, variations on theme of Sussmeyer, for violin and orchestra
Concerto for violin
Sonata, Maria Luisa
Concerto No 1
Inno all'armonia, cantata (lost)
Introduction and Variations on 'Non piu mesta'
Introduction and Variations on 'Di tanti palpiti'
Introduction and Variations on 'Dal tuo stellato soglio'
Concerto No 2
Concerto No 3
E Pur Amabile, canzonetta for voice and piano
La Tempesta, for chorus and orchestra
Maestoso sonata sentimentale
Sonata and Variations on 'Pria ch'io l'impegno'
Le Couvent du St Bernard, for male voices and orchestra
Variations on 'God Save the King'
Variations on 'O mamma, mamma cara'
Quel jours heureux, for solo, chorus and piano
Concerto No 4
Concerto No 5
Moto Perpetuo, for violin and orchestra
Sonata amorosa galante
Potpourri, for violin and orchestra (violin part lost)
St Patrick's Day, variations on an Irish song
Sonatina e Polacchetta
Concertino for bassoon, horn and orchestra
Sonata for viola and orchestra
Sonata, La Primavera
Paganini also wrote chamber music and works for solo violin and guitar.