Conti, Francesco Bartolomeo
- Hermine W. Williams
(b Florence, Jan 20, 1681/2; d Vienna, July 1732). Italian theorbist and composer. Letters addressed to Ferdinando de’ Medici between 1699 and 1701 suggest that even before the turn of the century Conti was held in high regard for his performances as a theorbist in Florence, Ferrara and Milan. News of his virtuoso playing spread beyond Italy and by 1701 the Habsburg court in Vienna had offered him an appointment as associate theorbist with the same stipend paid to the principal theorbist, Orazio Clementi. Conti served in this capacity from 1701 to 1708, except for the period from October 1706 until July 1707, when his name is absent from the records. On the death of Clementi in August 1708 he was promoted to principal theorbist, a position which he held until illness forced him to retire in 1726. The court had difficulty selecting his successor; Joachim Sarao from Naples was appointed in ...