Pietro Antonio Locatelli
As it was common at the time, the musical career of composer and violinist Pietro Antonio Locatelli (1695, Bergamo – 1764, Amsterdam) began at a very early age. He was little more than a child when he appeared in the records of the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in his native town, as a member of its orchestra.
His first teachers were the leading artists of this ensemble. In 1711 he went to Rome to hone his skills, and studied with Giuseppe Valentini, and then with Arcangelo Corelli. According to a letter from 1714, at the beginning of his time in Rome he was employed by Prince Michelangelo I Caetani. Between 1716–1722, he was a member of the congregazione generale dei musici di S. Cecilia, performing in various noble houses. He was still in Rome when he made his debut as a composer: the Op. 1 concerto grosso series appeared in print in 1721.
Between 1723–1728, he visited the major centres of musical life in Italy and Germany. These sparsely documented five years of concert tours probably also saw the birth of the bulk of his violin concertos and capriccios, and it was no doubt with the performance of these that he cemented his fame in Europe.
In 1729 he settled down in Amsterdam, where he composed little, and gave classes to amateurs. The city’s burgeoning bourgeoisie included many music lovers, who were lavish in their support, guaranteeing an above-average standard of living for this much-appreciated contributor to their musical salons. He died in 1764, in his home on the Prinsengracht.