Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1831-1872 - Portsea Place (Bayswater)

Guitarist and concertina player Giulio Regondi was born in Genoa in 1822. The details of his parentage are unclear, but it appears that he had a German mother and an Italian father and was brought up in Lyons by a foster father. The latter pushed Giulio’s musical talent and presented him in Milan and the major capitals of Europe before he was ten years old, notably in Paris in 1830 and in London in June 1831. When Regondi appeared at the King’s Theatre he was described as an infant Paganini on the guitar’. Having toured extensively, he settled in London as a teacher and performer. He was one of the first composers to devote attention to the concertina, writing two concertos, a number of chamber works, and several concert pieces, and arranging a great deal of operatic melodies for the instrument. He is said to have shown Charles Wheatstone, its inventor and patentee, the true capabilities of the instrument. He died in May 1872 at his home at no. 17 Portsea Place, Connaught Square.

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