Urso, Camilla



French violin virtuoso; descended from a family of musicians. She was born in Nantes, France, though her parents were Italian. She was a very superior child in every way and her father devoted himself to her education. When, at the age of six, she was much impressed at hearing the violin and decided she wanted to learn it her father procured a teacher and taught her the rudiments of music himself. In a year she had mastered it and made a great sensation playing in public. Her father then gave up his position as organist and took his family to Paris, that the little girl might advance under the instruction of Massart of the Conservatory. Massart took particular interest in her and gave her much of his time. A tour was planned through France and Germany to assist the family financially, and it was a series of triumphs. Returning to Paris Camilla again took up her studies with renewed ardor, and her public appearances were enthusiastically received by the critics of the day. In 1852, she was then only ten years old, the family came to the United States to live, and her public playing made a great impression here. Undoubtedly the inspiration of her playing has brought many of our women violinists into being. She traveled for three years, then for five years did not appear in public. Upon resuming her career in 1862 she again toured America, then went to Paris, where she received as many honors as a prima donna. Five years later she was given a testimonial from the musical profession of Boston. In 1879 and again in 1894 she visited Australia. In 1895 she toured in South Africa, scoring new triumphs in Cape Town.