Francesco (Xaverio) Geminiani


Taught in all probability first by his father in Lucca and then by Lonati in Milan, Francesco Geminiani travelled to Rome to finish his education with Arcangelo Corelli and Alessandro Scarlatti.  A huge influence on his composition and violin playing, Geminiani was never fully able to emerge from Corelli's shadow, even arranging his Op.5 solo sonatas as concerti grossi.  Moving to London in 1714 he worked for King George's chamberlain, Baron Kilmansegge, to whom Geminiani dedicated his Op.1 collection of violin sonatas. 

Geminiani surfaced next in 1726 with his Corelli arrangements and in 1728 was rejected for the post of Composer of State Music for Ireland as he was not prepared to renounce his Catholicism.  The post went to the composer Duborg, who invited Geminiani to visit Dublin, where he was to spend his later years.  He continued to teach, perform and publish in London, tours of Europe notwithstanding, and died in Dublin in 1762.

As well as working in the standard baroque forms of composition, Geminiani published several academic works such as The Art of Playing on the Violin, The Art of Playing the Guitar or Cittra and A Treatise of Good Taste in the Art of Musick.  It was for these that Geminiani wrote his few vocal works as bases for variations or exercises.

Related composers: Giuseppe Tartini, George Frideric Handel

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