Here's a fine Wikipedia entry:
Ignaz Schuppanzigh November 20, 1776 – March 2, 1830, was a violinist, friend and teacher of Beethoven, and leader of Count Razumovsky's private string quartet. Schuppanzigh and his quartet premiered many of Beethoven's string quartets, and in particular, the late string quartets. The Razumovsky quartet is considered to be the first professional string quartet. Until the founding of this quartet, quartet music was played primarily by amateurs or by professional musicians who joined together on an ad hoc basis.
Schuppanzigh was born in Vienna, son of a professor of Italian at the Theresian Military Academy. Before the age of 21, he had established himself as a virtuoso violist and violinist, as well as a conductor. He gave violin lessons to Beethoven, and they remained friends until Beethoven's death.
Schuppanzigh's dedication to quartet playing played a pivotal role in the transition of quartet performance and composition. Prior to Beethoven, the quartet repertoire could be performed competently by good quality amateurs and by professionals with few rehearsals. Beethoven's quartets introduced many new technical difficulties that cannot be completely overcome without dedicated rehearsal. These difficulties include synchronized complex runs played by two or more instruments together, cross-rhythms and hemiolas, and difficult harmonies that require special attention to intonation. When Schuppanzigh complained to Beethoven about a particularly difficult passage, Beethoven is said to have remarked, "Do you believe that I think about your miserable fiddle when the muse strikes me?"
Schuppanzigh was reported to be a handsome youth, but in adult life became seriously obese. Toward the end of his life, Schuppanzigh's fingers reputedly grew so fat that he was unable to play in tune.
Anyways the "raison d'etre" of this post is that I found a funny little historical comic about 'Zigh. Apparently by folding and unfolding the paper you can make Ignaz take on some weight. Click for a bigger picture..