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Classiscsonline Home » Composers » R » Regondi, Giulio

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Giulio Regondi (1822 - 1872)

Giulio Regondi was an infant prodigy of the guitar who matured into an eminent artist and esteemed composer of poetic but challenging works. Born in Geneva (or perhaps Genoa or Lyons) in 1822 to an unnamed German mother who may have died at his birth, Giulio was raised by an Italian father (some say step-father or foster father) who was himself a talented guitarist, composer, and baritone. Making his début in Paris by the age of seven, he become known as ‘The Infant Paganini’. In the age of such masters as Sor, Carulli, Carcassi and Molino, Regondi, usually performing in duo with his father, enraptured critics while still no more than a child. The Spanish virtuoso Fernando Sor (1778–1839) dedicated his Fantaisie “Souvenir d’Amitiè,” Op. 46 (1831) to the young Regondi and may have also written for him a Grand Duet (now lost), evidence of a relationship which implies mutual respect and suggests tantalisingly that Sor may even have played some role in the young man’s development. The Regondis, father and son, arrived in London in 1831 and achieved critical and financial success there, touring throughout the British Isles. Then, one day in about 1835, the father handed the child a 5 pound note and absconded with the rest of their money, said to have been several thousand pounds sterling, leaving the boy dependent on the good will of strangers. In his mature years, however, Regondi continued triumphantly to give concerts throughout Europe.



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