Bottesini's Birthday

Dec 24, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

Today is the birthday of Giovanni Bottesini. Bottesini was born in Crema, Italy, in 1821, and during his lifetime he was the most celebrated double bass virtuoso in the world. His concert tours took him all over Europe, and to Russia, Egypt, Cuba, Mexico, and the United States.


As a child, he started on the violin, but when it was time to apply to the Conservatory of Milan for further studies, the only scholarships available were for bassoon and double bass. With just a few weeks practice, the fourteen-year old Bottesini learned to play the bass well enough to be admitted to the Conservatory, and the rest is history. Later, Bottesini also became very successful internationally as a conductor and composer, and in addition to various works for the double bass—works that showed off his own astonishing abilities—he wrote sacred music, orchestral music, chamber music, and a dozen operas. Giovanni Bottesini.

A Minute with Miles – a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.