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Viotti, Giovanni Battista

Viotti, Giovanni Battista (b Fontanetto, Piedmont, 1755; d London, 1824). It. composer and violinist. Son of blacksmith who played hn. and taught him mus. Toured Ger. and Russia with Pugnani, 1780. Played in Concert Spirituel, Paris, 1782, becoming accompanist to Marie Antoinette. Visited London 1792, making début in 1793 at Salomon concert and playing in Haydn's benefit concerts 1794 and 1795, and at It. opera at King's Th., 1795–8. Returned to London 1801, becoming wine merchant. Active in formation of Phil. Soc. 1813. Dir., It. Opera in Paris 1819–22. Died impoverished after commercial misfortunes. Reckoned as greatest classical player of his day and founder of modern sch. of classical playing. Wrote 29 vn. concs., of which No.22 in A minor is especially important, 21 str. qts., 21 str. trios, many vn. duets, 18 vn. sonatas with bass, pf. concs., fl. qts., and other pieces.

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Viotti, Giovanni Battista

Giovanni Battista Viotti (jōvän´nē bät-tēs´tä vyôt´tē), 1755–1824, Italian violinist, considered the greatest of his day. He made public appearances until 1783, and the next year he became court musician to Marie Antoinette. After the Revolution he went to London, where he resumed his concerts. He returned to Paris and directed the opera, 1819–22. Of his 29 violin concertos, No. 22 in A Minor is well known. In expanding the sonorities of violin and orchestra and in using the sonata form, he influenced the concertos of both Mozart and Beethoven.

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