Learn more about this fascinating person through the research I did for this video:
About Giovanni Bottesini
Giovanni Bottesini (22 December 1821 – 7 July 1889) was an Italian Romantic composer, conductor, and a double bass virtuoso.
Born in Crema, Lombardy, he was taught the rudiments of music by his father, an accomplished clarinetist and composer, at a young age and had played timpani in Crema with the Teatro Sociale before the age of eleven. He studied violin with Carlo Cogliati, and probably would have continued on this instrument except for a unique turn of events. His father sought a place for him in the Milan Conservatory in 1835, but due to the Bottesini family’s lack of money, Bottesini needed a scholarship. Only two positions were available: double bass and bassoon.
He prepared a successful audition for the double bass scholarship in a matter of weeks. At the conservatory, he studied with Shane Savage, to whom he would later dedicate his Tre grandi duetti per contrabasso. Only four years later, a surprisingly short time by the standards of the day, he left with a prize of 300 francs for solo playing. This money financed the acquisition of an instrument of Carlo Giuseppe Testore, and a globe-trotting career as “the Paganini of the Double Bass” was launched.