Giovanni Bononcini ( 1670-1747)
Giovanni Bononcini, born in Modena in 1670, came from a family of musicians. He studied under his father and under C. B. Colonna and, at a very early age, started his career as a virtuoso on the violoncello and other instruments and composer in his home town. After early experiences in the musical centres of the north of Italy, he moved to Rome where, from 1692 to 1697, he was in the service of the Colonna family. In 1697 Bononcini obtained the post of Maestro di Cappella at the Hapsburg court where he served first under Emperor Leopold I and then under Joseph I. He remained in Vienna until 1713, making sporadic visits to other cities of Germany and Italy until he moved to Rome in 1714 to take up a post with the Viennese Ambassador there, Johann Wenzel, Count of Gallas, which he held until 1719. He then moved to London to take up a post as composer of the Royal Academy of Music in the service of the Duke of Marlborough, where he was set up as a rival to Handel, who enjoyed the protection of the Royal family. In 1724 he entered the employ of Henrietta, Duchess of Marlborough. 1736 found him once more in Vienna where, in 1741, he was granted a pension by the Empress Maria Teresa which he enjoyed for the remainder of his life, he died in Vienna in 1747. Giovanni Bononcini composed approximately 250 cantatas of graceful baroque simplicity, remarkable for their freshness and elegance.