ANTONIO BAZZINI (1818 - 1897)
Born in Brescia, where he made his early career as a violinist, conductor and pianist, Antonio Bazzini went on to make an international career for himself in the first capacity, appearing in concert with Thalberg, winning the praise of Schumann, and collaborating with some of the leading musicians of his time. His repertoire included the concertos of Beethoven and of Mendelssohn, in addition to the expected virtuoso pieces. In 1864 he returned to Brescia and in 1882 became director of the Milan Conservatory, where he had already taught composition for some years. His pupils included Mascagni and Puccini.
The name of Bazzini is inextricably associated with La ronde des lutins (‘The Goblins’ Rondo’), a fantastic scherzo for violin. His earlier works were principally vehicles for his own virtuoso performance, but after 1864 he devoted himself to a much wider repertoire.