Thursday, September 3, 2009

Pietro Antonio Locatelli

Pietro Antonio Locatelli was an Italian violinist and composer born on September 3, 1695 (J.S. Bach was ten years old.) It has been said that he was a child prodigy. After playing in the Bergamo church orchestra until age 16 (1711), he was sent to study in Rome (presumably with Arcangelo Corelli). From 1723 he toured and played in Italy and Germany, wherever it suited his fancy. In 1729 he went to work in Amsterdam and it is likely that he lived there the remainder of his life. In Amsterdam, Locatelli set up his own business as a distributor of his own works, sold books out of his house, and gave private concerts - so few details are known about him that he has been described as being shadowy and reclusive. His reputation rests on his Opus 3 - a collection of 12 violin concertos with extended cadenzas in the outer movements, published in 1733. Since the cadenzas are unaccompanied, some players have chosen to separate them from the rest of the works to play them as caprices or studies. His musical style mirrors that of Corelli and Vivaldi. Locatelli died on March 30 1764, at age 69.

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