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Giovanni Battista Vitali (Composer)

Born: 18th February 1632, Bologna, Italy

Died: 12th October 1692, Modena, Italy

Nationality: Italian

Giovanni Battista Vitali was an Italian composer and violone player.

Vitali was born in Bologna and spent all of his life in the Emilian region, moving to Modena in 1674. His teacher in his early years was probably Maurizio Cazzati (1616–1678), maestro di cappella at the main church in Bologna, San Petronio Basilica from 1657 to 1671.

The first documented evidence of Vitali’s musical activities appears in the records of the San Petronio orchestra for 1658, when he is listed under the title ‘Violoni’, referring to the cello/bass instrument that he played (to be discussed below).

Vitali remained in the orchestra until 1673, when he took up an appointment as maestro di cappella at the chapel of the Confraternità del Rosario, Bologna. His first publication, Opus 1 (1666), tells us that he was a member of the Accademia dei Filaschisi.

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