OLE BORNEMANN BULL (1810 - 1880)
Ole Bull was the first Norwegian musician to win his country a place on the international stage, and became a pioneer for the country’s national art. ‘The Nordic Paganini’ was fêted as one of the world’s great violin virtuosos, and played thousands of concerts in Europe and America over a span of almost half a century. At the Great Peace Jubilee in Boston in 1869 he led an orchestra of a thousand players, performing in a hall with a capacity of 50,000 listeners. He played at all the leading theatres and great concert halls all over the world. As late as 1879, the year before he died, he played to a full house in Vienna’s prestigious Musikverein. Like other nineteenth-century virtuosos, he mostly performed his own music, with the aim of impressing the audience with his dazzling technique.