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Pietro Antonio Locatelli

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Biography

Pietro Antonio Locatelli (1695–1764) was an Italian composer and violinist.

Locatelli was born in Bergamo in Italy on 3rd September 1695. A child prodigy on the violin, he was sent to study in Rome under the direction of Arcangelo Corelli. Little is known of his subsequent activities except that he finally settled in Amsterdam in 1729, where he died on 30th March 1764.

Locatelli was a virtuoso violinist, said never to have played a wrong note — except once, when his little finger slipped and got stuck in the bridge of his instrument. As a composer, Locatelli’s works are mainly for the violin. His most significant publication is probably the Arte del violino, opus 3, a collection of twelve concertos for the instrument which incorporate twenty four technically demanding capriccios (or caprices); these could function as extended cadenzas, but are now usually extracted and played in isolation from the concertos.

Locatelli also wrote violin sonatas, a cello sonata, trio sonatas, concerti grossi and a set of flute sonatas (his opus 2). His early works show the influence of Arcangelo Corelli, while later pieces are closer to Antonio Vivaldi in style.

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