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Bottesini, Giovanni

Bottesini, Giovanni (b Crema, Lombardy, 1821; d Parma, 1889). It. virtuoso of double-bass which he took up because there was a vacancy at Milan Cons. in 1835 only for a db. student. Extraordinary mastery of the instr. soon acknowledged. In 1849 became lifelong friend of Verdi. Settled in Havana, Cuba, as prin. db. of orch. there. First played in London 1849. Used 3-str. basso da camera made by Testore of Milan, with a bow more like that for a vc. Was successful opera cond. in Paris 1855–7 and in London 1871. Dir. of opera ths. at Palermo, 1861–3, Barcelona, and Cairo. Cond. f.p. of Verdi's Aida, Cairo, 1871. Dir. of Parma Cons. 1889. Comp. many pieces for db., 13 operas, Requiem (1880), and an oratorio The Garden of Olivet (Norwich, 1887).

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