Veracini, Francesco Maria

Image of Veracini

Francesco (also il Fiorentino) Maria Veracini, a Baroque musician, was born in Florence, Italy in 1690. (It was incorrectly perceived that he was born in 1685). He received lessons from his uncle Antonio Veracini.

While living and touring in Venice, before a competition at the palace of Pisango-Mocenigo, Veracini’s performance was heard by Giuseppe Tartini, who was invited to perform as well, and was dazzled by Veracini’s abilities – finding him to be a superior performer. This resulted in Tartini retiring soon after, to spend more time practicing and improving his own technique with inspiration from Veracini. In 1714, He went to London and lead the Italian Opera while acting as soloist between acts.

While working as the soloist in Dresden, by some accounts Veracini had jumped out of a window, which resulted in broken bones and a life-long limp. Conflicting accounts report that he likely did so due to humiliation brought to him by violinist Johann Georg Pisendel, who had an orchestral violinist repeat a concerto Veracini had just performed, while having had more time to prepare with Mr. Pisendel. The other violinists performance was preferred by the audience.

After a long residence at Prague and Italy, he returned to London in 1735, where his compositions saw tremendous success.

Veracini dedicated 12 sonatas for violin or flute with bass to Elector of Saxony circa 1716 (Augustus Frederick) as well as 12 additional violin sonatas (Sonate accademiche) to Augustus III of Poland, Elector of Saxony circa 1744.