The Festival was born in July 2002 with three concerts performed in Carro. The quality of the concerts and the success with the public have since allowed the event to grow into 12 musical appointments in nine different municipalities of the province of La Spezia.
Organized by the Società dei Concerti, the Paganini Music Festival of Carro is supported by the Region of Liguria and a private sponsor, Isagro SpA, who have both fully believed in the initiative since the the first editions. This has allowed an area of great scenic beauty to enter into the circuit of cultural tourism in Italy.
The 15th festival is being staged with the contribution of Fondazione Carispezia as part of the “Cultura in Rete” 2016 programme
Carro, the hamlet from where the ancestors of Niccolo Paganini orignated, still holds three of the concerts each year and remains the main reference for the Festival which is characterized by additonal musical locations in many other towns and villages of the Val di Vara, as well as other tourist destinations along the Riviera, such as Bonassola and Framura.
Previous editions of the Festival have seen the participation of internationally renowned musicians including:
Salvatore Accardo, Uto Ughi, Viktoria Mullova, I Solisti Veneti, Sergej Krylov, Pavel Vernikov, Bruno Canino, I Solisti dei Berliner Philarmoniker, gli Archi della Scala, I Solisti Veneti, il Quartetto di Fiesole, Marco Rizzi, Philippe Graffin, Alirio Diaz, Giovanni Angeleri, Valeriy Sokolov, Massimo Quarta, Cristiano Rossi, Stefano Pagliani, Maxence Larrieu, il Talich Quartet, la Camerata del Concertgebouw di Amsterdam, Paolo Restani, Domenico Nordio, Franco Maggio Ormezowsky, Andrea Tacchi, Alessandro Milani and Filomena Moretti.
The concert season always invites the winner of the last edition of the Premio Paganini di Genova (Juki Manuela Yanke in 2005, Natalia Lomeiko in 2006 Feng Ning in 2007, Mengla Huang in 2008, finalist Francesca Dego in 2009, Sean Lee in 2010, Dami Kim in 2011, Stefan Tarara in 2012).
In recent years the event has enjoyed a great number of visitors not only from the neighboring towns of the valley, but also from the entire Gulf of Tigullio, Versilia and Genoa. This has encouraged numerous tourists to do the same in the Summer period, both Italian as well as foreigners especially from northern Europe.
In 2011, the President of the Republic awarded the festival with a plaque to mark the cultural value of the event and to celebrate the tenth edition.
In 2013, the Festival was was premiered in the chambers of the Italian Stock Exchange in Milan to mark twenty years of activity and the tenth anniversary of the listing of ISAGRO SpA, the main sponsor of the event. A midnight concert was performed by pianist Restani accompanied by the String Quartet of the Scala.