Cervetto, Jacob Basevi

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CERVETTO, JACOB BASEVI (1682–1783), violoncellist and composer. Cervetto was born in Verona of a branch of the Basevi family which had as its crest the head of a stag (cervo). He settled in London in 1728 or 1729 where he played in the orchestra at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, and later became its manager. He is credited with being the person who introduced the violoncello into England and was associated with the instrument by contemporary caricaturists. Cervetto composed several works for this instrument and chamber music. In his later years he had no connection with the Jewish community. His illegitimate son, James Cervetto (1746–1837), was also a popular cellist who composed various works.