Places of interest27 November 2018

Genoa: until March 19th 2019 Palazzo Ducale hosts "Paganini Rockstar" [Video]

An exhibition dedicated to Niccolò Paganini, the great Genoese violinist who has deeply revolutionized the music of his time.

Credit Facebook site

Credit Facebook site

Paganini was one of the greatest violinist ever lived, composer of the famous“Capricci per Violino Solo”, well-known for his virtuosity. He can be considered the first musician who paid attention to his own image and used marketing strategies. 

Just like a rockstar, just like Jimi Hendrix. 

They have both changed the history of music. Indeed, the exhibition – divided into thematic sections- shows a comparison between Paganini and Hendrix through documents and object. 

What makes a performer a rockstar? What’s the secret of his success?

Palazzo Ducale in Genoa dedicates a major exhibition to Niccolò Paganini that aims to tell the story of this musician who so profoundly revolutionized classical music, doing so through a notably hypertextual contemporary narration that highlights all of Paganini’s modernity. 

The visitor to the exhibition is accompanied, as it were, backstage at the theatre on an itinerary – divided into various thematic sections – that winds its way through a fascinating stage set, taking in large backdrops, iconic objects such as il Cannone, Paganini’s red notebook, his ledger of accounts, letters and autograph cards. The artist is truly brought on stage, as the story of the birth and construction of a myth is told from behind the scenes. 

The narrative unfolds thematically in a series of rooms that highlight some of the peculiarities of the figure of Paganini and at the same time suggest points of connection with our present-day world – talent, virtuosity, celebrity, sold-out concerts across the whole of Europe, the household name. These are all features that reveal the extraordinary modernity of Paganini, who can be regarded as a veritable rock star even before the word existed and as a precursor of styles, movements and modes of expression that are typically modern. In this sense, the musician that can best be compared to Paganini is Jimi Hendrix – with his relationship to his instrument, his non-conformity, and the extreme nature of his performances. 

The history of the violin is divided into before and after Paganini; likewise there was also a before and an after Hendrix in the history of the guitar. At different times and driven by the same exceptional energy, both changed the history of music.

[Credit Facebook site]

The exhibition is organized by Palazzo Ducale Fondazione per la Cultura with Roberto Grisley, Raffaele Mellace and Ivano Fossati supported by a Scientific Committee (Claudio Proietti, Roberto Iovino, Maria Amoretti Fontana, Pietro Leveratto).

Setting up and multimedia installation by NEO, Milano.


  • Full ticket € 12,00
  • Reduced price ticket € 10,00 

Opening Hours

Monday: from 2pm to 7:30pm 

  • Tuesday – Sunday : from 9:30am to 7:30pm
  • Friday:  from 9:30am to 10pm

International editions:   English | Deutsch | Russian