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Paganini was an Italian violinist and guitarist. He was said to be the most celebrated violinist of his day. He was famous for his tremendously challing violin music, much of which was written to show off his own technique as a performer. It was rumored that he was in league with the devil. A rumor which he did not discourage because it brought him even more fame.
He was close friends with Rossini and Berlioz. Berlioz was comissioned to write Herold in Italy for Paganini to perform on his viola but he never performed it. Paganini's Caprice 24 and La Campanella have inspired other composers including Franz Liszt, Schumann, Brahms, Rachmianinoff, and Andrew Lloyd Webber.