Campagnoli was a virtuoso violinist who toured Europe propagating the 18th Century Italian violin style. He also has a number of compositions to his name, notably:
Bartolomeo was born in Cento, where his father was a trader. He studied the violin locally, firstly in Bologna, and then from 1763 in Modena with Paul Guastarobba, who had studied with the noted violinist Giuseppe Tartini. He returned home in 1766 and played in a local orchestra. In 1768 he studied further in Venice and Padua, where Tartini still lived.
He lived for a few years in Florence, where he studied with the violinist Pietro Nardini; this period was influential to his career. In Florence he also played in the orchestra of the Teatro della Pergola. In 1775 he went to Rome and played in the orchestra of the Teatro Argentina.
In 1776 he was appointed kapellmeister to the bishop of Freising in Bavaria. He toured northern Europe giving concerts in 1778. He obtained a post at the court of the Duke of Courland in Dresden in 1779. While retaining this post he undertook tours; he toured Sweden in 1783 where in Stockholm he was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music; in 1784 toured European cities, mainly in Germany and Austria.
In 1797 he published Metodo per Violino, a treatise on violin playing; it can be regarded as demonstrating the style of a transitional period between the Baroque and Classical era.
He left the court of the Duke of Courland, and in 1797 he was appointed concertmaster of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, a post he retained until 1818. He visited Paris in 1801, where he was impressed by the playing of the violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer.
During Campagnoli's time in Leipzig, the violinist and composer Louis Spohr, visiting the city where he was to give a concert, heard Campagnoli play a violin concerto by Rodolphe Kreutzer. He wrote in his diary, "His method, it is true, is of the old school; but his play is pure and finished."
His two daughters Albertina and Giannetta were singers, and in 1816 he toured Italy with them. He resigned from the Gewandhaus Orchestra to look after his daughters' careers; the family eventually settled in 1826 in Neustrelitz, where he died in 1827.
- IMSLP: Campagnoli, 30 Preludes for violin
- Grove, George, ed. (1900). A Dictionary of Music and Musicians – via Wikisource. .
- Campagnoli, Bartolomeo Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 17 (1974), accessed 11 July 2014
- Bartolomeo Campagnoli Ross W. Duffin, How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony (and Why You Should Care), accessed 6 July 2014.
- Chapter 4 Dallin Richard Hansen, The Bouncing Bow: A Historical Examination of "off-the-string" Violin Bowing accessed 11 July 2014.
- Autobiography of Louis Spohr accessed 10 July 2014.