Niccolò Paganini

Fun Facts

  • Paganini’s first instrument was the mandolin since his father was a skilled mandolin player; he had switched to the violin by the age of seven.

  • Paganini was the most celebrated violin virtuoso of his day.

  • Around the age of twelve, Paganini began performing on the stage.

  • Paganini’s father was strict and exacting, forcing his son to practice many hours every day.

  • Paganini also played the guitar, but only performed on the instrument in private concerts.

  • Regarded by many people as the greatest violin virtuoso ever, Paganini’s skill was so incredible that he was thought to be the son of the devil, or to have sold his soul for his talent.

  • Paganini’s Caprice No. 24 is considered to be one of the most difficult violin pieces in the world.

  • There are no known photographs of Paganini.

  • Paganini’s fame as a violinist was matched only by his reputation as a gambler and womanizer.
  • Due to his undisciplined life, Paganini developed multiple illnesses and ailments.

  • Paganini had a close relationship with his only son, Achilles.

  • Paganini died suddenly from internal hemorrhaging without receiving the last rites. After his death, the church denied his body a Catholic burial because he had not received the sacrament. It was not until 36 years later that he was given a proper burial.

More Resources

Fun Facts

Check out our collection of interesting and (some) little known facts about Paganini.


View Niccolò Paganini's full biography.