GIOVANNI BOTTESINI (1821 - 1889)
Giovanni Bottesini was not only among the most famous double bass players of his time, but was also a conductor of some distinction and a composer. He conducted the first performance of Verdi’s Aida in Cairo in 1871 and won success with some, at least, of his own 10 operas. Known to some as the Paganini of the double bass, he significantly extended the technical possibilities of the instrument.
Double Bass and Chamber Music
Bottesini’s compositions include a number of double bass concertos (some for double bass and piano), as well as works for solo violin and double bass and for two double basses. His Metodo completo per contrabasso is an important addition to the pedagogical literature of the instrument. In 1849 Bottesini played the cello part in London in a quintet by George Onslow. His own chamber music includes a Gran quintetto for two violins, viola, cello and double bass. He wrote 11 string quartets and arranged his Double Bass Concerto No. 2 for solo instrument and string quartet.