Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1772-1813 - Little Newport Street (Soho)

Violin maker Vincenzo Panormo was born Vincenzo Trusiano around 1734 in Palermo. He changed his surname (Panormo is the Latin form of Palermo) after moving with his family to Naples in around 1759. His father Gaspare Trusiano made double basses and other instruments and taught his son the skills of violin making.

The family went on to become the finest woodwind makers in the city. Around 1770 Vincenzo travelled to Paris. Finding that the powerful guilds in Paris obstructed his development as a tradesman, he moved his young family to London in 1772. By 1776 he was running Panormo’s Music Shop in Little Newport Street, Soho.

The area was developed towards the end of the seventeenth century and attracted many Huguenots. It became a thriving community of (French) craftsmen. He returned to Paris around 1779 until the French Revolution forced him to move back to London. With the exception of a few years in Ireland during the late 1790s, Panormo lived in London for the rest of his life. He was one of the first instrument makers outside Italy to adopt the Stradivari model. The transition of British makers away from the Stainer type in this period was largely due to his influence. He died in 1813.

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