Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst was a Moravian-Jewish violinist, violist and composer. He was widely seen as the outstanding violinist of his time and one of Paganini's greatest successors. Although he was a highly esteemed artist in his days, he is not well known today. Many saw him as the superior violinist of his time and Paganini's greatest successor. Not only did he contribute to polyphonic playing, but he also discovered new idiomatic ways to compose polyphonically conceived violin music. His friends included Hector Berlioz and Felix Mendelssohn.