Arcangelo Corelli Biography

Arcangelo Corelli

Arcangelo Corelli was one of the first masters of the baroque period, a skilled violinist and admired by legends like Bach and Handel.

  • Arcangelo Corelli was born on February 17th 1653, in the town of Fusignano in Northern Italy.
  • Little is known about his early years, though it is thought that he first studied music under a priest in the town of Faenza.
  • His main musical education, though, came when he moved to Bologna, where he mixed with the musical leading lights of the day, including Giovanni Battista Bassani.
  • Corelli was himself a respected and skilled violinist, and a huge influence on the style of Italian musicians of the 18th century.
  • He was famous for his mastery of the baroque chamber sonata, as well as his numerous concerto grossi.
  • Among Corelli's famous fans was Johann Sebastian Bach, who studied his work and based one of his organ fugues on a melody composed by Corelli.
  • Corelli's Christmas Concerto, which dates back to 1690, was used as part of the soundtrack to the Russell Crowe film Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World.
  • Fame and fortune came easily to Corelli, and he died a very wealthy man with a huge art collection on the 8th January 1713.

Did you know?
Corelli once refused to play a section of Handel's oratorio The Triumph Of Time And Truth because a violin note went higher than what he thought was appropriate for the instrument.