Bottesini's home while he was a student at the Milan Conservatory -- where he unfortunately met Umberto -- then off and on throughout his life. He conducted frequently at la Scala and guest-lectured in Bass, Composition, and Calisthenics at the Conservatory.

Verdi often urged Bottesini to settle in Milan, calling it "the only place for real opera," but Bottesini refused, writing in an 1860 letter, "In Milan I became a Man. Now I must move on." Scholars have not fully divined the meaning of this enigmatic statement.

Bottesini owned a house in Milan; in fact, confusion over its ownership after his death has not to this day been cleared up. The site is now a pile of rubble, scarring an otherwise pleasant neighborhood; several litigious parties each claim the others own it.

Milan is the setting for an interesting if over-dramatized biography-in-progress on Bottesini"s early years (Forthcoming from MTIC Press). This is not the place for literary criticism, but the book in question focuses on the supposed angst and inner struggle Bottesini faced early in his career. Clearly, the author has taken liberties for purposes of his own.

"We all must learn where to place our fingers."
© 1997, Jeff Brooks (