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Introduction To The Composer | Domenico Scarlatti

Domenico Scarlatti was born on October 26th, 1685, in Naples, Italy.

An outstanding composer of music for the harpsichord, Scarlatti’s fame rests on the 550 or so one-movement keyboard sonatas.

His early musical training came from his father, Alessandro Scarlatti, who was Maestro di cappella, or choirmaster, in the Neapolitan royal chapel. It was here where, in 1701 at the age of 16, Domenico was appointed organist. Scarlatti held this position for 4 years until, in 1705, his father sent him off to Venice and Florence, stating that his son was, “A young eagle whose wings are grown. He must not remain idle in the nest, and I must not hinder his flight.”

His first major post came in 1709 in Rome when he entered the service of the exiled Queen Maria Casimira of Poland. Here he met many other up-and-coming musicians including his contemporary, George Frederic Handel.

From 1713 to 1719 he served as assistant music director and then music director at St. Peter’s until leaving Italy for Portugal.

It was in Lisbon where he began teaching the king’s musical daughter, Princess Maria Barbara. When the princess married the Crown Prince of Spain, Prince Ferdinand, Scarlatti accompanied her in her move to Madrid where he remained in her service for the rest of his life.

Domenico Scarlatti died on July 23rd 1757 in Madrid, Spain at the age of 71.

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