Bottesini, Giovanni


A distinguished Italian doublebass player, also highly esteemed as a conductor and composer. Grove says that his marvelous command of his unwieldy instrument excited the admiration of the whole musical world of Europe. Bottesini was born at Crema, in Lombardy, and died at Parma. He inherited his musical talent, his father being an excellent musician. Giovanni early showed that his talent was of unusual degree. When only eleven years old he was admitted to the Milan Conservatory, where he studied doublebass under Rossi, and harmony and composition with Basili and Vaccai. As doublebass virtuoso he traveled and gave concerts in Italy from 1840 to 1846, and then went to America. He spent several years in Havana, where he played chief doublebass in the orchestra, and in that city, in 1874, was produced his first opera, Christophe Colombe. In 1849 he made his first appearance in London, meeting with a most enthusiastic reception. From 1855 to 1857 he was in Paris and held the post of orchestra conductor of the Italian Opera. Next he went to Palermo, where he was director at the Bellini Theatre in 1861. In 1863, he was director at Barcelona, and for a period was director of the Italian Opera at Cairo. Bottesini conducted Italian Opera in London during the season of 1871, but presently returned to Italy and became director of the Parma Conservatory. He was the author of several compositions for his instrument; of several operas, L'Assedio di Firenze; II Diavolo della Notte; Marion Delorme; Vinciguerra; Ali Baba; Ero e Leandrp; and wrote the music of the oratorio, The Garden of Olivet, produced at the Norwich Festival of 1887.