Veracini, Francesco Maria


Violin virtuoso and composer. He was born at Florence, being known as  II Florentine, but while young went to live in Venice. His instructor was Vivaldi, and he made his first appearance in 1714. He went to London, where he remained two years, successfully leading the Italian Opera band and appearing as soloist between acts. He was considered the finest violinist in Europe. He spent a number of years in Dresden, where he was appointed composer and chamber virtuoso to the King of Poland. Leaving Dresden he went to Prague, where for many years he was violinist to Count Kinsky. He revisited London in 1736, where, however, he had been displaced in the affections of the audience by Geminiani. His opera, Adriano, was enthusiastically received. He returned to Italy in 1747, where he lived at Pisa until his death. His compositions rank among the best, possessing originality, vivacity and grace. They include a number of concertos, sonatas, and symphonies for two violins, viola, violoncello, and basso, some of which are in the public libraries of Florence and Bologna. He published two sets of twelve sonatas each, and his operas, Adriano, Roselinda, and L'Error di Salomone.