Giovanni Battista Viotti, an Italian violinist, born at Fontanetto, Piedmont, about 1755, died in Brighton, England, March 3,1824. He studied under Pugnani, who enjoyed the highest reputation in his day. Before he had attained his majority Viotti was appointed first violinist in the royal chapel in Turin. He afterward visited Berlin, Paris, and other cities, and was regarded as one of the greatest virtuosos of his day. During the French revolution he held for a time a seat in the constituent assembly, but fled to London when the reign of terror began, and was for a short period leader of the band in the King's theatre. A report being circulated among the French emigres then in London that Viotti had been a secret agent of the revolutionists, he was obliged to quit the country. He went to Hamburg, but after a few years returned to London, and lost all his property in the wine trade. After the restoration of the Bourbons he assumed the direction of the royal academy of music at Paris, in which he met with no success.

His remaining years were spent in England. He is now remembered chiefly by his Six duos concertans pour deux violons, published at Hamburg.