digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















"Viotti" redirects here. For other people, see Viotti (surname).
Giovanni Battista Viotti
Giovanni Battista Viotti.jpg
Background information
Born (1755-05-12)12 May 1755
Fontanetto Po, Savoia, Kingdom of Sardinia
Died 3 March 1824(1824-03-03) (aged 68)
London, England
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Composer, violinist
Years active 1755–1824
Notable instruments
Telláki Stradivarius 1690
Sopkin-Viotti Stradivarius 1695
Jupiter Stradivarius 1700
Viotti Stradivarius 1704
Marie Hall Stradivarius 1709
Viotti Stradivarius 1709
Viotti Stradivarius 1712
Colossus Stradivarius 1716
Arnold Rosé-Viotti Stradivarius 1718
Dragonetti-Milanollo Stradivarius 1728
Parlow-Viotti Guarneri del Gesù 1735

Giovanni Battista Viotti (12 May 1755 – 3 March 1824) was an Italian violinist whose virtuosity was famed and whose work as a composer featured a prominent violin and an appealing lyrical tunefulness. He was also a director of French and Italian opera companies in Paris and London.


Viotti was born at Fontanetto Po in the Kingdom of Sardinia (today in the province of Vercelli, Piedmont, Italy). For his musical talent, he was taken into the household of principe Alfonso dal Pozzo della Cisterna in Turin, where he received a musical education that prepared him to be a pupil of Gaetano Pugnani. He served at the Savoia court in Turin, 1773–80, then toured as a soloist, at first with Pugnani, before going to Paris alone, where he made his début at the Concert Spirituel, 17 March 1782.[1] He was an instant sensation and served for a time at Versailles before founding a new opera house, the Théâtre de Monsieur in 1788, under the patronage of the Louis-Stanislas-Xavier, comte de Provence, the king's brother, whose court title was Monsieur.[2] There he mounted operas of his friend Luigi Cherubini, among lesser lights. When the French Revolution took a radical turn and, though his opera house was renamed the Théâtre Feydeau, former royal connections became a dangerous liability, so he moved in 1792 to London, making his début at Johann Peter Salomon's Hanover Square Concert, 7 February 1793. In London he went from success to success, as a featured violinist for Salomon's concert series, 1793–1794; as musical director of the new Opera Concerts in 1795; as a star in the benefit concerts for Haydn, 1794 and 1795; as acting manager of Italian opera at the King's Theatre, 1794–1795; and as leader and director of the orchestra, 1797. He was invited to perform in the houses of the London bon ton, including for the Prince of Wales.

Then, with Britain at war with Revolutionary France, he was ordered to leave the country, under suspicion of Jacobin sympathies. Period papers hint at an intrigue in the favour of Viotti's rival, Wilhelm Cramer, who had led the Opera House orchestra before Viotti took over. The Morning Post and Gazetteer in its issue of Friday 9 March 1798 reported that "the Duke of L... and the Earl of C... have been particularly active in entreating his Majesty to order Viotti out of the kingdom". This may refer to Francis Osborne, 5th Duke of Leeds, and to Philip Stanhope, 5th Earl of Chesterfield. Pierre Rode, Viotti's favorite pupil, was expelled from England, too, and maybe left the country some days previous to Viotti who awaited the outcome of his case, after several gentlemen and even Princess Elizabeth (Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom) spoke in his favour. But finally, Viotti left England with a packet ship on 8 March 1798. He lived on the estate of a rich English merchant, John Smith, in Schenefeld (Pinneberg) near Hamburg from ca. March 1798 to ca. July 1799. Between March and May 1798 he gave private lessons to the 13-year-old virtuoso Friedrich Wilhelm Pixis. After that, according to two papers issued in February, 1800, he seems to have lived incognito on the estate of his English friends, William and Margaret Chinnery, at Gillwell House, where he lived officially from 1801; according to another paper he was still in Schenefeld in April, 1800. He gave up giving concerts to run a wine business, but used to play in private concerts. In July 1811, he became a naturalized British citizen, after his friend, the Duke of Cambridge, a younger brother of the Prince of Wales, had interceded on his behalf. In 1813, he was one of the founders of the Philharmonic Society of London. Viotti didn't perform as a soloist any more but as orchestra leader and chamber musician. After his wine business failed, he returned to Paris to work as director of the Académie Royale de Musique, from 1819 to 1821. He returned to London in November 1823 together with Margaret Chinnery and died in her presence on 3 March 1824.

In spite of his few direct pupils, Viotti was a very influential violinist. The teacher of both Pierre Rode and Pierre Baillot and an important influence on Rodolphe Kreutzer, all of whom became notable teachers themselves, he is considered the founding father of the 19th-century French violin school. He also taught August Duranowski, who was an influence on Niccolò Paganini.

Viotti owned a violin fabricated by Antonio Stradivari in 1709 that would eventually become known as the Viotti Stradivarius. He is also thought to have commissioned the construction of at least one replica of this violin. The Viotti ex-Bruce, renamed in honour of its previous owner, was purchased by the Royal Academy of Music in September 2005. Funding was provided by HM Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax, and by the National Art Collections Fund, the National Heritage Memorial Fund and many private donors. The instrument will be displayed in the York Gate Collections, the Academy's free museum and research centre. The Viotti ex-Bruce will be heard as well as seen: the instrument will be played sparingly, under very controlled circumstances, at research events and occasional performances elsewhere.

Viotti's most notable compositions are his twenty-nine violin concertos, which were an influence on Ludwig van Beethoven. One in particular, No. 22 in A minor (1792), is still very frequently performed—especially by advanced student players. The other concertos are of similar quality but almost never heard; however in 2005 violinist Franco Mezzena released an integral set on the Dynamic (record label) label.

Viotti's music generally features the violin prominently: most of his string quartets largely ignore the balanced texture pioneered by Haydn, giving a "solo" role to the first violin and as such may be considered Quatuors Brillants. However, his Tre Quartetti Concertanti, G.112, 113 and 114 (after Remo Giazotto who catalogued Viotti's works[3]), composed in 1815 and published in Paris in 1817, are true concertante works offering extensive solos for each instrument and not just the first violin. Viotti often wrote chamber music for more traditional combinations such as two violins and cello. The Op.18 and 19 are perhaps the best known of these and are still in print today. He also wrote sonatas, songs, and other works.

Little known is that Viotti is perhaps the author of the French anthem's (La Marseillaise) music. In 1781 Viotti composed Theme and variations in C major, whose tune was adopted in 1792 by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle in setting La Marseillaise to music. Viotti's authorship in this music was officially acknowledged only in 2013 by the violinist Guido Rimonda, an expert in Viotti.

Several musical melodies have been cited:

  • Mozart's Allegro maestoso of Piano Concerto No. 25[9]
  • the credo of the fourth mass of Holtzmann of Mursberg[10]
  • the Oratorio Esther by Jean Baptiste Lucien Grison[11]

Rouget de Lisle himself never signed the Marseillaise score.

Cultural references[edit]

Viotti is commemorated annually in the Viotti International Music Competition near his birthplace in Vercelli, Italy. [1] In the same city takes place also the Viotti Festival - International Music Festival - an event that is part of the circuit "Piemonte dal Vivo" Italy. [2]


  1. ^ Warwick Lister, Amico: The Life of Giovanni Battista Viotti (Oxford University Press, 2009).
  2. ^ Hemmings, F. W. J. (1994). Theatre and State in France, 1760–1905, p. 69. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-45088-1.
  3. ^ Giazotto, Giovan Battista Viotti (Milan: Curci), 1956.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Battista_Viotti — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
7760 videos foundNext > 

Giovanni Battista Viotti - Violin Concerto No. 22 in A minor, G. 97

Giovanni Battista Viotti (1755~1824) Violin Concerto No. 22 in A minor, G. 97 (1797) 00:02 I. Moderato 15:29 II. Adagio 22:59 III. Agitato assai Violin : Lola ...

Giovanni Battista Viotti - Violin Concerto No.23 in G-major (1794)

Picture: Luca Ferrari - Venus Preventing Aeneas from Killing Helen of Troy (17th century) Giovanni Battista Viotti Work: Violin Concerto No.23 in G-major (1794) ...

GB Viotti - tema e variazioni in DO maggiore 1781 (conosciuto anche come Marsigliese)

Performed by Orchestra Camerata Ducale Fu il violinista e compositore piemontese Giovan Battista Viotti a comporre quello che poi divenne l'inno della Francia ...

Giovanni Battista Viotti: Meditazione in Preghiera for violin & orchestra (1793) / Camerata Ducale

GIOVANNI BATTISTA VIOTTI MEDITAZIONE IN PREGHIERA (1793) for violin and strings orchestra Guido Rimonda (solo violin) Orchestra Camerata Ducale ...

Giovanni Battista Viotti - Cello Concerto in C-major

Picture: Joseph Mallord William Turner - Vision of Medea (1828) Giovanni Battista Viotti Work: Cello Concerto in C-major Mov.I: Allegro 00:00 Mov.II: Adagio ...

Camerata Ducale & Guido Rimonda - Giovan Battista Viotti: Tema e variazioni in Do mag.

Orchestra: Camerata Ducale Direttore e solista: Guido Rimonda Autore: G.B. Viotti Viotti, violinista piemontese alla corte di Maria Antonietta, scrisse questo ...

Giovanni Battista Viotti - Violin Concerto No. 24 in B minor, G. 105

Giovanni Battista Viotti (1755~1824) Violin Concerto No. 24 in B minor, G. 105 (1797) 00:04 I. Maestoso 15:40 II. Andante sostenuto 20:27 III. Allegretto Violin ...

Giovanni Battista Viotti 6 String Quartets Op.3

Giovanni Battista Viotti 6 String Quartets Op.3 1. No.1 in A: Allegro Moderato 0:00 2. No.1 in A: Andantino Con Espressione Escherzando 3. No.2 in C: Allegro ...

Giovanni Battista Viotti-Violin Concerto No.23 in G - I Allegro

CAMEN ANA-MARIA ANDREEA -12 ANI ,Cls.a VI-a, Liceul de arte" Bălaşa Doamna "TÂRGOVIŞTE/ ROMÂNIA, PREMIUL I - Concursul " TIMOTEI POPOVICI ...

Giovanni Battista Viotti - Franco Mezzena - Violin Concerto No.29

G.B.VIOTTI - Complete Violin Concertos (Vol.10): 3rd Movement (Introduzione-Allegretto) from Violin Concerto No. 29 in E minor W29/G144 for Violin and ...

7760 videos foundNext > 

166 news items

La Repubblica

La Repubblica
Tue, 26 Jan 2016 09:26:15 -0800

Il latinista Ettore Stampini (Fenestrelle 1855 - Roma 1930) ringiovanito di sei anni e il musicista Giovanni Battista Viotti (Fontanetto Po 1755 - Londra 1824) invecchiato di due. Succede sulle targhe stradali poste nelle vie dedicate ai due illustri ...
Corriere della Sera
Thu, 21 Jan 2016 01:53:31 -0800

Giovanni Battista Viotti nacque a Fontanetto Po nel 1755 e morì a Londra nel 1824. Fu direttore del King's Theatre di Londra, poi si trasferì in Germania per due anni (1798-1800); infine rientrò a Londra, dove restò sino alla morte, salvo che per una ...

New York Times

New York Times
Wed, 30 Sep 2015 10:49:50 -0700

Not for nothing did Brahms embed references to one of Joachim's favorite pieces, a violin work by Giovanni Battista Viotti, in the themes of the first movement. The Double Concerto is underperformed, at least compared with the rest of Brahms's ...


Wed, 26 Jun 2013 23:55:37 -0700

La musica più famosa di Francia è infatti stata scritta dal compositore piemontese Giovanni Battista Viotti (1755-1824) nel 1781, ben prima che a Parigi gli animi si scaldassero e Luigi XVI facesse la brutta fine che sappiamo. Lo scoop musicale ...
Audiophile Audition
Mon, 26 Oct 2015 21:41:15 -0700

We return to the solo harp of Ursula Holliger for the Sonata for Harp in B-flat Major by Giovanni Battista Viotti (1755 – 1824). His story too is interesting. Born to a blacksmith, he showed early talent and was taken to Turin at age 11, lived in the ...


Thu, 19 Nov 2015 00:26:15 -0800

La melodia della Marsigliese – e questo farà svenire dal dolore metà della popolazione d'Oltralpe – è stata creata da Giovanni Battista Viotti, musicista di corte a Parigi. Un expat ante litteram che, ben 11 anni prima (nel 1781), aveva creato lo ...

Il Post

Il Post
Tue, 17 Nov 2015 04:23:44 -0800

... della Marsigliese ha sempre fatto dubitare dell'autenticità dell'opera: è certo che le melodie non sono originali e che vennero copiate dal Tema e variazioni in do maggiore del compositore italiano Giovanni Battista Viotti, vissuto tra il ...


Tue, 15 Dec 2015 23:30:00 -0800

Di Giovanni Battista Viotti il quartetto eseguirà una selezione di composizioni tratte dall'op.1: il Quartetto n°4 in Sib Maggiore, il n°3 in Mib Maggiore ed il n°6 in Mi Maggiore che si alterneranno ai canti natalizi della tradizione popolare. Un ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight