Henri Vieuxtemps was a Belgian composer and violinist in the nineteenth century. Born in Verviers, Belgium, at a young age he received violin tuition from hid father and a local teacher, giving his first public recitals at the age of six. He soon began touring further afield in Belgium, meeting the great violinist Charles Auguste de Bériot, who was to become his teacher. He became friends with the composers Robert Schumann and Louis Spohr, who compared the young Vieuxtemps to Paganini, and a few years later he met Paganini himself, who was impressed with his playing. He became known throughout Europe from his tours, but in 1873 suffered a stroke which prevented him from playing. From this point on he concentrated on his work as a composer, writing a number of concertos for instruments other than the violin, and a handful of string quartets. Vieuxtemps was remembered for his musicality and interest in classical repertoire, as opposed to the virtuosic displays of Paganini which often used popular tunes or operatic themes. He is also known for playing the Vieuxtemps Guarneri del Gesù violin, an instrument of esteemed quality that has continued to be played by a string of virtuoso performers to this day.

Double Bass