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Luigi Boccherini
Born: Lucca (Italy) 19/02/1743   Died: Lucca (Italy) 28/05/1805
Letters in which this person is cited
Italian composer and violoncellist. Largely trained in his native Lucca and at Rome, Boccherini made a successful appearance at the Burtheater, Vienna, in early 1758; he was subsequently engaged by the imperial court there, playing in the orchestra of the Kärntnertortheater that year and during the 1760-1 and 1763-4 seasons. He began touring in 1766, spending several months in Paris in 1767 where he composed the sonatas for keyboard and violin, op. 5. From there he traveled to Spain, where in 1770 he entered royal service as compositore e virtuoso di camera. Boccherini was nominally appointed to the Royal Chapel in late 1785 or early 1786, at which time he also accepted an appointment as `compositeur de notre chambre` to Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, later King Friedrich Wilhelm II, for whom he wrote several compositions but was not required to be in residence. The subsequent death of his patrons, and troubles with publishers, led to financial problems during his final years. Mozart and Boccherini never met but it is likely Mozart was familiar with at least some of Boccherini`s compositions, in particular his quartets and quintets, which were widely disseminated throughout Europe, including Vienna in the 1780s; he may also have encountered Boccherini`s works during his visit to Berlin in 1789. Lit.: Della Croce, Il divino Boccherini: vita, opere, epistolario; Luigi Boccherini e la musica strumentale dei maestri italiani; Speck, `Boccherini und die Verbreitung seiner Musik in europäischen Musikzentren des 18. und frühen 19. Jahrhunderts`; Heartz: `The Young Boccherini: Lucca, Vienna, and the Electoral Courts`; Basso, I Mozart in Italia, 500-501
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In Mozart's Words. Version 1.0, published by HRI Online, 2011. ISBN 9780955787676.