Born: 1687 in Lucca, Italy. Died: 1762 in Dublin, Ireland.
Francesco Geminiani was a composer and musician who studied under Arcangelo Corelli
. Geminiani became particularly famous after his arrival in London
in 1714. Geminiani's Opus 1, a set of violin sonata
s, earned him an invitation to perform before King George I
. According to Sir John Hawkins in his "General History of Music" (1776), Geminiani was 'fearful of being accompanied on the harpsichord by some performer, who might fail to do justice both to the compositions and the performance of them', and expressed 'a wish that Mr. Handel
might be the person appointed to meet him in the king’s apartment'. Handel obliged, and the performance for the king was a resounding success.
Geminiani's greatest composition was, curiously, a transcription of Corelli's Opus 5 sonatas as concerti grossi. The term 'transcription'; does not do the compositions justice, for Geminiani painstakingly and lovingly expanded and evolved Corelli's original works into something that at once paid high tribute to his teacher and at the same time showed Geminiani's own genius and mastery of the form.