Sammartini, Giovanni Battista



Prolific composer and noted organist. Was choirmaster of the convent of Santa Maria Maddalena from 1730 to 1770,   and organist of several churches in Milan. He is noteworthy as being one of the predecessors of Haydn in the department of modern orchestra and chamber-music and was the teacher of Gluck. Sammartini is said to have produced over a thousand works, among them masses, motets and psalms, besides twentyfour f symphonies, and pieces for various instruments. His first symphony for orchestra was produced at Milan in 1734, and he also gained praise for twelve trios for two violins and bass, printed in London and Amsterdam, and some nocturnes for flutes and violin. His brother Giuseppe, born in Milan about the beginning of the Eighteenth Century, was an oboe-player at the Italian Opera in London, where he went in 1727 and later was oboist and chamber-musician to the Prince of Wales. He published trios for oboes and bass and other works. He died in London in 1740.