The Italian Paganini Festivals Network

As part of the European Paganini Route Network, four Italian festivals dedicated to Paganini have created a network to offer a coordinated proposal. The network includes, in chronological order of programming, Parma, Genoa, Carro and Savona.

Paganini Guitar Festival

The Paganini Guitar Festival in Parma is an initiative of international standing dedicated to the world of the six strings and to Niccolò Paganini, the genius of the violin and lover of the guitar, to whom we owe numerous compositions. The event is organised by the Società dei Concerti di Parma, an institution that has been promoting and enhancing high musical culture since 1894. The Artistic Direction is entrusted to Giampaolo Bandini.

The 2024 edition took place from 23 to 27 May, divided into the following sections: International Guitar Competition, Concerts, Masterclasses, Paganini Day, Young Promises Competition, Exhibition of Historical Violin Making and Exhibition of Modern Violin Making.

The Festival counts a conspicuous number of side events, also in other cities. Concerts in Parma are held, inter alia, at the Teatro Regio, the Casa della Musica, the Villetta Cemetery (Paganini’s tomb) and the Teatro Farnese.

Paganini Genoa Festival

Paganini is a unique character in the history of music: he became a legend during his lifetime, hailed as an unrivalled virtuoso, an artist of genius, an expression of romantic yearning and, at the same time, an extraordinary entrepreneur of himself with the innovative genius of communication. Genoa, his birthplace, has all the requisites to propose itself as the ‘capital’ of the violin: relics – the legendary ‘Cannone’ violin, left by the Maestro in his will, is unanimously considered the most important instrument in the history of mankind -, places linked to salient moments in his life, initiatives dedicated to him, the Paganini Prize that has been carrying his name high on the international stage for seventy years, and a Conservatory named after him.

The Municipality of Genoa, which in recent years has sought to strongly relaunch this strand, has now decided to invest in the project of a Festival, an ideal means of attracting enthusiasts and the curious from all over the world, through the quality, breadth and variety of a cultural offer flanked by moments designed for all audiences. Some of the greatest names in international violinism perform in the halls where Paganini himself performed – the Ducal Palace, the Oratorio di San Filippo and the Carlo Felice Theatre, which was inaugurated while he was engaged abroad, but where he held a triumphant concert on his return:

one of his last public appearances before his rapid decline due to the illness that led to his death at the age of 57.

Guided tours allow visitors to get to know the part of Genoa where Paganini was born and trained, remaining strongly attached to it. Lectures, presentations and workshops, both popular and scientific, offer the opportunity to get closer to a figure who has become a legend and who has always exercised great fascination for the original and intriguing facets of his personality.

The Carlo Felice Theatre and the association Amici di Paganini are the entities in charge of the production, in which the GOG-Giovine Orchestra Genovese and Palazzo Ducale, the European Paganini Route and the Chamber of Commerce, as well as numerous cultural organisations, with the sponsorship of Bper Banca are collaborating. All in a programme of nine intense days destined to excite, entertain and enthuse.

Festival Paganiniano di Carro

The Festival Paganiniano was born in 2002 in Carro (SP), which, as is well known, is the birthplace of Nicolò Paganini’s family. It was here that the great violinist’s paternal grandfather, Giovanni Battista Paganini, lived until he moved to Genoa, where Nicolò was born. From Carro, the fulcrum of the event, a series of concerts unfolds, covering the Alta and Media Val di Vara, also overlooking the Riviera (Bonassola and Levanto). Previous editions of the cycle ‘Niccolò Paganini and instrumental virtuosity’ have featured eminent musicians, including: Salvatore Accardo, Uto Ughi, Viktoria Mullova, I Solisti Veneti, Sergej Krylov, Pavel Vernikov, Stefan Milenkovich, the Soloists of the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Strings of La Scala, Domenico Nordio, Marco Rizzi, Pavel Berman, London Piano Trio, Francesco Manara, Alirio Diaz, Massimo Quarta, Cristiano Rossi, Maxence Larrieu, the Camerata of the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, and regularly the cycle hosts the winner of the last edition of the Paganini Prize in Genoa, with which it has an agreement.

Festival Internazionale di Musica di Savona

The International Music Festival of Savona stems from the desire of the Associazione Musicale Ensemble Nuove Musiche to create, in the Savona area, a fixed appointment capable of promoting concerts with a national and international profile, with concrete benefits for the territory and significant socio-cultural repercussions on the community. A strong characteristic of the Festival is that of wishing to propose a representative repertoire of concert realities from Italy and other countries, with particular regard to the common European cultural matrix. Therefore, openness towards internationality becomes a determining element for the realisation of the project. The Festival, with its events realised in historical venues and artistic buildings of the city, wants to present itself as a further useful tool to enhance the artistic and monumental heritage of the city of Savona.

Since 2020, the Festival has been running the multi-year project of the integral performance of Niccolò Paganini’s chamber music works, a tribute to the eminent Ligurian musician. The 2024 edition runs from 29 July to 22 December. The Festival is a partner of the European Paganini Route.

Territories involved


An event capable of bringing some of the most important Paganini specialists on the international scene to the city, as well as students, enthusiasts, master lute-makers and music critics interested in the figure of the genius of the violin who was also a very talented guitarist.


The aim of the Festival is to make known the inexhaustible and fascinating facets of a character who was unparalleled in his time, who subjugated audiences all over Europe, changing, thanks also to a first-rate entrepreneurial talent, the way of making and organising music.


The festival begins and ends in the charming village of Carro, the birthplace of the great violinist’s ancestors, as a house that once belonged to Paganini’s family still testifies. Over the years, the Festival has made the Val di Vara, a place where nature has remained unspoilt and traditions continue to be respected, known to an Italian and foreign audience.


The International Music Festival of Savona aims to create a fixed appointment in the Savona area to promote concerts with a national and international profile, with benefits for the territory and significant socio-cultural impacts on the community. The Festival offers a representative repertoire of Italian and international concert realities, with a focus on the common European cultural matrix, and is distinguished by its openness to internationality. The events take place in historical and artistic locations in the city, enhancing the local heritage and attracting visitors. Most events are free of charge to ensure broad participation. In addition, an annual composition competition will bring the best emerging talents to Savona, whose pieces will be performed during the Festival.