The Kennedy Center

Antonio Locatelli Pietro


An Italian composer and violinist, considered as a "founding-father of modern instrumental virtuosity," Pietro Locatelli was born in Bergamo, Italy on 3 Sept. 1695. He travelled to many European cities, settling in Amsterdam. At age 14 he ranked as third violinist in the basilica's instrumental ensemble. In 1711 he went to Rome and presumedly took violin lessons from Correlli's school or perhaps with Giuseppe Valentini.
He performed regularly in many venues, some of which were at S Lorenzo in Damaso promoted by Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, Congregazione dei Musici di S Cecilia, Ottoboni's residence, S Giacomo degli Spagnoli in Rome, for Prince-Elector Karl Albert in Munich (1727), at the palace of Monbijou (Berlin) in the presence of the Queen Sophie Dorothea, at the court of Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia in the presence of the King of Prussia (where he received a gift of "eine schwere goldene Dose mit Ducaten)" and in other cities. 
He was called a "virtuoso da camera" by the Governor of Mantua in 1775. As a violinist he experimented in unexplored fields as shown in Arte del violino, c?? in the 16th position as well as "Capriccio, prova dell "intonazione" in the Sonata op.6 no.12 where he reached b?? in the 22nd position. This experimental work showed him to be the model of the modern virtuoso.
Locatelli's most important work was in the L'arte del violino that significantly affected the advancement of violin technique with his tremendous skills. The collection also includes 12 violin concertos, 24 caprices for solo violin in the first and last movements of each concerto. He also composed concerti grossi, solo concertos, trio sonatas and sonatas for melody instrument and bass, orchestral works, and chamber music, op 2, 5 and 8, and flute concertos. His op.1 concerti grossi, includes eight da chiesa and four da camera concertos.
He died in Amsterdam on 30 March 1764.
Antonio Pietro