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Lonati, Carlo Ambrogio (real name, Giovanni Ambrogio Leinati)

Lonati, Carlo Ambrogio (real name, Giovanni Ambrogio Leinati)

Lonati, Carlo Ambrogio (real name, Giovanni Ambrogio Leinati), famous Italian violinist and composer, known as “II Gobbo della Regina” (“the Queen’s hunchback”); b. probably in Milan, c. 1645; d. probably there, c.1710. He was a violinist in the Naples royal chapel (1665-67). He went in 1668 to Rome, where he entered the service of Queen Christina of Sweden. Although a hunchback, he was greatly admired as a violinist, hence his sobriquet. He also appeared as a singer; likewise was principal violinist at S. Luigi dei Francesi (1673-74), and concertino violinist at the Oratorio della Stimmate at S. Francesco and the Oratorio del Crocifisso at S. Marcello (1674-75), and at the Oratorio della Pietà at S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini (1675). Having become a close friend of Stradella, he was compelled to leave Rome in 1677 after his friend’s notorious conduct became general knowledge. They went to Genoa, but Lonati left the city after Stradella’s murder in 1682. He then was in the service of the Mantuan court. He spent his last years in Milan. He was a distinguished composer of operas, cantatas, and instrumental music.

Works

dramatic: Opera: Amor per destino (Genoa, 1678); Ariberto e Flavio, regi di Longobardi (Venice, 1684?); Enea in Italia (Milan, 1686; in collaboration with others); I due germani (fratelli) rivali (Modena, 1686); Antico, principe della Siria (Genoa, 1690); Scipione africano (Milan, 1692); L’Aiace (Milan, 1694; in collaboration with Magni and Ballarotti); Aetna festivo (Milan, 1696; in collaboration with others). other: Cantatas; 12 sonates for Violin and Basso Continuo (1701).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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