October 26, 1685
July 23, 1757 in Madrid, Spain
Also Known As:
Italian composer and harpsichordist during the Baroque period, his full name is Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti. His father, Alessandro Scarlatti, was the maestro di cappella in Naples. His mother was Antonia Anzalone; Domenico was the sixth of ten children. He married twice; first Maria Catarina Gentili in 1728 and then Anastasia Maxarti Ximenes in 1742. He had 9 children.
Type of Compositions:
Scarlatti composed over 500 sonatas for the harpsichord, he also composed innovative keyboard music, operas and church music.
His father, Alessandro Scarlatti, was likewise a composer notable for his operas and was one of Domenico's strongest influence. Domenico later on met and became friends with George Frideric Handel and Thomas Roseingrave. He first became organist and composer in the Royal Chapel of Naples in 1701, then in San Maria Maggiore in Rome by 1707, where he assisted his father. He later served the Portuguese court in Lisbon, where aside from his other duties, he also gave keyboard lessons to King John V's daughter and son. The King granted him knighthood in 1738.
His musical work includes an opera L'Ottavia ristituita al trono and Il Giustino, he also composed for his fathers Neoplitan theatre, he wrote over 500 sonatas including "Sonata in E minor, L. 022," "Sonata in F minor, L. 473," "Sonata in D minor, L. 413," "Sonata in G minor, L. 499" and "Sonata in A Major, L. 391."
Thomas Roseingrave published the first edition of Scarlatti's Essercizi per gravicembalo in 1738. Scarlatti was a member of the Accademie Poetico-Musicali which was hosted by Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni. It is said that a competition was held, from which Scarlatti came out as the champion of the harpsichord while Handel proved his virtuosity on the organ. Majority of Scarlatti's sonatas were published posthumously.
Listen to soundclips of Domenico Scarlatti's cantatas through the Scarlatti Project website.