Paganini in Columbus

On view May 11, 2019 – May 19, 2019

Considered by many to be the most famous violin in the world, Niccolò Paganini’s “Cannone” violin will be traveling to Columbus for the first time in its history. Greater Columbus Sister Cities International (GCSCI) with the generous support of Columbus City Council, the Harold C. Schott Foundation and the Greater Columbus Arts Council, will host Paganini’s “Cannone” violin at the Columbus Museum of Art from May 11-19 with a public performance by the Columbus Symphony on May 15 at the historic Ohio Theatre.  

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 the “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, the “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 the 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 will be the apex of a series of successful cultural exchanges between the two cities, including the 2018 award-winning Thousand People exchange.

For more information about Columbus Sister Cities please visit

Related Programs
“Il Cannone” with the Columbus Symphony
Rossen Milanov, Conductor
Ohio Theater
May 15, 2019 at 8PM

Paganini Violin Networking and Panel Discussion
Columbus Museum of Art
May 16, 2019, 6:30 pm

Greater Columbus Sister Cities (GCSC) invites you to meet the delegation from our sister city Genoa, Italy and learn more about the Paganini Violin. Networking and a cash bar available from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. From 7:30 – 8:30 pm, enjoy a panel discussion moderated by GCSC President Tim Sword featuring Priscilla Tyson, Columbus City Councilmember; Bruce Carlson, “Il Cannone” Conservator; Rod Bouc, Executive Deputy Director of Operations and Chief Registrar, Columbus Museum of Art; and Barbara Grosso, Genoa Commissioner for Culture. This program is free with general admission, no registration requested. 


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