Jean-Baptiste Arban (1825 – 1889) was a cornet player, conductor, composer, pedagogue and the first famed virtuoso of the ‘cornet à piston’ or valved cornet. He was influenced by Niccolò Paganini’s virtuosic technique on the violin and successfully proved that the cornet was a true solo instrument by developing virtuoso technique on the instrument.
The ‘Carnival of Venice’ is a popular Italian folk tune associated with the words “My hat, it has three corners.” It was heard in Venice by the virtuoso violinist Nicolò Paganini and made famous in his own arrangement for violin. Many arrangements by other composers soon followed for a variety of instruments. Jean-Baptiste Arban also composed variations on this ‘Carnival of Venice’ and it has remained one of the great showpieces for cornet soloists today.
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