Virginia Tech Multimedia Music Dictionary Composer Biographies

Arcangelo Corelli

Born: February 17, 1653 in Fusignano, Italy
Died: January 8, 1713 in Rome, Italy
Nationality: Italian
Era: Baroque
Main genre: Sonata and Concerto
Main works:
Opus 1, 12 church sonatas 1681 dedicated to Queen Christina
Opus 2, chamber sonatas, 1685 dedicated to Cardinal Pamphili
Opus 3, 1689, dedicated to Francesco II of Modena
Opus 4 1694, dedicated to Cardinal Ottoboni
Opus 5, contains "La Folia"
Opus 6, his most famous work, composition date uncertain as he wouldn’t let them be published during his lifetime
Brief biography:

Arcangelo Corelli was an Italian violinist, composer and teacher whose work would impact not only his contemporaries but also the generations of musicians who were to follow. As a violinist, Corelli was truly a pioneer, earning such titles as, “Founder of Modern Violin Technique,” and “World’s First Great Violinist.” His incredible skill and extensive use of this then new instrument, helped cement the violin’s place in the concert halls around the world. Corelli’s influence extended beyond his talent as a master of the violin. As a composer he was the first to become famous based solely on instrumental composition, the first composer whose reputation was directly influenced by music publishers, and the first to produce instrumental works that would become classics; destined to be studied after their form went out of fashion. As a teacher he was the first to organize the basic elements of violin technique, and laid the groundwork for strict standards and discipline in instrumental music. His influence affected form, style and instrumental technique in equal measure and was most closely felt in Italy, especially Rome, where he settled in early manhood. But though his own work and that of his students (including Antonio Vivaldi and Vittorio Giannini) his influence soon spread beyond Italy into the rest of Europe and the world.

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