Niccolò Paganini, born on the 17th October 1782 in Genoa, Italy, was taught to play the violin from a very young age. He gave his first public concert at the age of 11, and was immediately recognized as a virtuoso. In his early teens he studied under Rollo and Ghiretti, but he could not cope well with his success: at the age of 19 he was gambling and drinking. His career was saved by an unknown lady, who took him to her estate, where he recovered and studied the violin for three years.
He reappeared when he was 23, and he soon became a legend for his unparalleled mastery of the violin. As he became more and more famous, it was rumored that he acquired his incredible virtuosity in a pact with the devil. He died in Nice on the 27th May 1840, leaving behind a series of sonatas, caprices and 6 violin concertos.