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Carlo Farina2

Carlo Farina, Italian Baroque composer, conductor and virtuoso violin player was born around 1600 in Mantua. His first teacher was probably his father, who played in the orchestra in the court of the Gonzagas, the rulers of Mantua.  Later he perfected his skills under Salomone Rossi and Giovanni Battista Buonamente.  Between 1626 and 1629 he held the position of concertmaster in Dresden in the orchestra of the Saxon court.  There he worked together with Heinrich Schütz, who aroused his interest in composing.  He was member of the orchestra in the court of the Elector in Bonn between 1629 and 1631, then he returned to Italy, where he was employed in Parma, Lucca and Massa until 1635. From there he moved to Danzig. From 1638 he lived in Vienna, where he died in 1639.

Musicologists consider him as one of the most outstanding violinists of his age, who did a lot to develop violin technique.  In his composition of 1627 entitled Capriccio Stravagante the violin imitates sounds of animals, such as cats mewing and dogs barking.  During his stay in Dresden he had his works composed then published in five volumes, the programmes of the compositions are usually identical with the title.