Friday, December 4, 2009

Francesco Geminiani

Francesco Geminiani was an Italian violinist, composer, and music theorist born on December 5, 1687 (Bach was two years old.) He studied with Alessandro Scarlatti, Carlo Lonati, and Arcangelo Corelli. From 1711 (from age 24), he was concertmaster of the opera orchestra at Naples. In 1714, he went to London where, in 1715, he played his violin concerti (with Handel at the keyboard) at the court of George I. He went to Paris for a time but returned to England in 1755. He is best known for three sets of concerti Grossi - 42 concertos in all. Geminiani also wrote and published The Art of Playing the Violin (1751), Guide to Harmony, solos for the violin, three sets of violin concerti, twelve violin trios, The Art of Accompaniment on the Harpsichord, and The Art of Playing the Guitar. Geminiani was also a collector and dealer of fine art though not always successful in this endeavor. I do not know if recordings of his complete works have been produced. He died in 1762, at age 75 (Bach had been dead for 12 years already.)

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