Maxim Vengerov plays the festivals final concert on March 5
The revolutionary virtuoso Niccolo Paganini visited London for the first time in 1831. London's Royal Academy of Music marks the 175th anniversary of his visit with "Paganini in London", a series of performances, research events and exhibitions. The festival will explore what Paganini was playing in London, how he played it and public response to his playing.
The festival is built around a rare visit to Britain by Paganini's main instrument: the Cannone, on loan from the City of Genoa. Maxim Vengerov, who recently joined the Academy's teaching staff, will give a recital with the instrument at the final concert on march 5. Igor Levit will play the piano in a programme that features Mozart's "Adagio K261", Beethoven's "Sonata no 7 in C minor, op 30 no 2" and Paganini's "Cantabile".
A series of concerts will explore many and varied connections with Paganini, from Haydn to Lutoslawski. Research-focussed events include a musical and theatrical reconstruction of Paganini's famous 'Duel' with the French violinist Nicholas Lafont, and a discussion comparing Viotti's immaculate Strad with Paganini's battle-scarred Guarneri - a contrast which mirrors the approaches of these two rival performers.
The festival runs from 27th February to 5th March 2006. For more information about this unique festival visit the Academy's website