Boccherini, (Ridolfo) Luigi
- Christian Speck
- and Stanley Sadie
(b Lucca, Feb 19, 1743; d Madrid, May 28, 1805). Italian composer and cellist. A prolific composer, particularly of chamber music, with a distinctive and highly wrought style, he is the chief representative of Latin instrumental music during the Viennese Classical period.
Luigi Boccherini (his first baptismal name seems never to have been used), was the third child of the musician Leopoldo Boccherini (1712–66) and his wife Maria Santa, née Prosperi (d Aranjuez, 1776). Leopoldo's activities as a singer, and from 1747 as a second double bass player (contrabassista soprannumerario) in the Cappella Palatina, allowed the family only a modest standard of living in their home town of Lucca. Thanks to intensive parental encouragement, the Boccherini children developed their considerable artistic talents early: Luigi's elder brother Giovanni Gastone (1742–c1800) began a career as a ballet dancer in 1756 (Grossato, 1993...