What makes this exchange unique is the cultural significance of this iconic violin. Niccolò Paganini, often referred to as the Devil’s Violinist, was one of the most celebrated musicians of all time. It is said that “Il Cannone” violin was initially lent to him by a wealthy businessman, but upon listening to Paganini’s awe-inspiring performance, the businessman insisted that he keep it. To this day, Paganini is one of few musicians who is consistently linked with one instrument.
Constructed in 1743 by Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri, “Il Cannone” is most known for the rich and powerful sounds it produces. This Italian national treasure is on permanent display at the Palazzo Doria-Tursi in Genoa, Italy. It rarely leaves its home in Genoa, making this visit to Columbus, truly historic. The last time the violin traveled to the United States was to New York City in 2003.
Genoa and Columbus have been sister cities since 1955. This exchange is the apex of a series of successful cultural exchanges between the two cities, including the 2018 national award-winning Thousand People exchange.
“This is a treasured, monumental opportunity for our City. Niccolò Paganini, one of the most celebrated violin virtuosi of all time and his Guarneri Violin, which is more than 275 years old, will be played by Columbus Symphony Concertmaster Joanna Frankel for the first time in the Midwest. This rare historical opportunity is a celebration of culture and a testament to the relationship that we have with our oldest sister city, Genoa, Italy.” Columbus Councilmember Priscilla Tyson