Bottesini launched his international career with a series of concerts in 1840, his first outside Italy, immediately after his stay in Trieste.

Reviewers in Vienna were the first to make the specious parallel between Bottesini and Paganini, no doubt largely influenced by the sight of his bow.

Bottesini's success in Vienna was marred somewhat by a fierce controversy among the Bassists of the city over rosin formulae; refusing to take sides, he managed to alienate all. Vienna remained inhospitable for the rest of his life as Bassists plotted against him -- it was, indeed, an early stronghold for Umberto.

His goal in going to Vienna had been to meet Robert Schumann. This never happened. He was forced by ill health to return to Milan after just two years.

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