1822 | 1872
Italian guitar and concertina player. He was brought up in Lyons by a foster-father, who recognized and cultivated his musical ability. He was presented in Milan as a child prodigy of the guitar, then in the major capitals of Europe, achieving fame in Paris in 1830 and London in 1831. His family settled in London, the guitar cult being popular there in the 1830s. This gave him the opportunity of meeting Leonhard Schulz the younger, who was publishing Mauro Giuliani's guitar music in London. Here he also met the Polish guitar virtuoso Marek Sokołowski, whose seven-string instrument may have prompted him to go a step further and take up the eight-string guitar. He played this on a concert tour to Vienna, Prague and Leipzig in 1840–41, in the company of the cellist Joseph Lidel. In his maturity Regondi was a distinguished player of the concertina, an invention of Charles Wheatstone's (late 1820s) which he popularized. Bernhard Molique wrote a concerto for concertina and orchestra, op.46 (London, 1853) for him. Regondi himself wrote two such concertos, and about 12 chamber works for concertina and piano, such as the Introduction and Variations on an Austrian Air op.1 (1855), and several concert pieces for solo concertina. He also wrote many solo guitar works, including Reverie nocturne op.19 and Fête villageoise op.20.