One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A person highly skilled in music or another artistic pursuit.‘a celebrated clarinet virtuoso’as modifier ‘virtuoso guitar playing’
genius, expert, master, master hand, artist, maestro, prodigy, marvel, adept, past master, specialist, skilled person, professional, doyen, authority, veteranskilful, expert, accomplished, masterly, master, consummate, proficient, talented, gifted, adept, adroit, dexterous, deft, able, good, competent, capable, efficient, experienced, professional, polished, well versed, smart, clever, artful, impressive, outstanding, exceptional, exceptionally good, magnificent, supreme, first-rate, first-class, fine, brilliant, excellent, dazzling, bravuraView synonyms
- ‘He's an extraordinary fiddle player with a virtuoso technique married to musical mind that won't take anything for granted.’
- ‘It is not enough to see the painting as a virtuoso manipulation of historical styles.’
- ‘He joins the illustrious ranks of blind virtuosos, alongside renowned organists and other musicians who have triumphed against physical handicap.’
- ‘All this music needs is a virtuoso with technique to burn and a grand array of tonal colors.’
- ‘The musicians from the Laureate trio staged a virtuoso performance at a concert marking the launching of their new album on Monday.’
- ‘The work is a sophisticated, synoptic genre piece, its composition and bravura brushwork invoking forerunners from flashy late Mannerists to late Baroque virtuosos such as Crespi or Piazzetta.’
- ‘It also excludes music for virtuoso display in the large concert hall, even though only a few instruments may be involved.’
- ‘With them, the concerto moves from the virtuoso star turn to distinguished collaboration.’
- ‘Masters like Sorolla, Bouguereau, Zorn and Repin were painting virtuosos.’
- ‘Puritan writers in New England were virtuosos of the genre.’
- ‘Johan becomes a virtuoso of classical music, a driving force who cannot be ignored.’
- ‘Something else they share is that neither is recognised as a virtuoso showpiece for the pianist.’
- ‘Now the virtuoso guitarist/composer's classical roots are calling him back.’
- ‘Such virtuoso, highly finished bronze groups can be seen as the last gasp of the great tradition of Florentine art.’
- ‘This virtuoso short story collection is emotionally uncompromising and stylistically daring.’
- ‘Walker began his musical career as a virtuoso pianist, with composing and teaching work coming later.’
- ‘However, there are so few viola concerti - especially by major composers - that virtuosi seemed driven to perform it anyway.’
- ‘The next week they toured Europe with a Bartok third quartet that had virtuoso fiddlers agape with admiration.’
- ‘Is it a study, which is unusual for copper, or an exercise in virtuoso brushwork, for which it seems unusually small?’
- ‘The title makes obvious reference to basketball, a sport of virtuoso movement.’
2A person with a special knowledge of or interest in works of art or curios.
- ‘In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries they were among the natural specimens collected by virtuosi, or amateur scientists, who kept their collections in specialized cabinets of curiosity.’
- ‘Yet proverbs were objects of curiosity, collected on an encyclopedic scale by Italian virtuosi as well as other European scholars throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.’
- ‘Bourgeois collectors began to play a part, and Mancini's treatise Considerazioni sulla pittura, addressed to the gentleman amateur, advised virtuosi on how to form a collection of paintings.’
- ‘To be sure, the book has a good deal to say about how the curious - virtuosi, novelists, journalists, impertinent women, collectors, connoisseurs, and so on - were represented.’
- ‘A wonderfully fluent technician, who moved in virtuosi circles, Lely recorded the worlds of politics and fashion alike, and sometimes revealed undoubted powers of character penetration.’
Early 17th century: from Italian, literally ‘learned, skilful’, from late Latin virtuosus (see virtuous).
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