Violinist, Composer. He was regarded as one of the great violin virtuosos of his day. His collection "The Art of the Violin" (1733), comprising 12 solo concertos and 24 Caprices, was widely influential in developing the technique of his instrument. Pietro Antonio Locatelli was born in Bergamo, Italy. A child prodigy on the violin, he trained in the instrumental ensemble of Bergamo Cathedral and at 16 decided to further his education in Rome. Unable to study with Arcangelo Corelli as he had hoped, he still had ample opportunity to hear Corelli play and this proved decisive in his style. After serving as concertmaster at the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Damaso from 1717 to 1723, Locatelli went on a whirlwind concert tour of Italy, Germany, and Austria, quickly establishing himself as an outstanding performer. In 1729 he settled in Amsterdam where, unfettered by church, court or teaching posts, he led a life of uncommon independence for an 18th Century musician. Reclusive and eccentric, he was allowed to publish music from his own home and emerged only to give weekly private recitals, which other musicians were barred from attending. (He feared having his ideas stolen). He remained unmarried. For unknown reasons he was buried at Amsterdam's English Church, even though he never visited England and probably didn't speak the language. Most of Locatelli's modest output centered on the violin, in the form of four sets of concerti grossi in the Corelli-Vivaldi manner (published between 1720 and 1744), solo and trio sonatas, and smaller pieces; he also produced a collection of flute sonatas (1732). His best melodies blend Baroque and early Classical idioms and have a supple, moody lyricism, making it regrettable that he wrote no stage or vocal music. "The Art of the Violin" was the likely inspiration for Paganini's own famous set of 24 Caprices (1807).
Bio by: Bobb Edwards