RECENT: Find out about composers from unusual places, including Gerard Schurmann, Giya Kancheli, Nazib Zhiganov and Nodar Gabunia, about singing in cars, and meet Jim Hutton from the RLPO and some of our regular contributors in this eighty-minute February 2021 video.
Italian cellist and composer Giovanni Battista Bononcini was born in Modena on 18 July 1670. More famous than his father (Giovanni Maria Bononcini) or his brother (Antonio Maria Bononcini), he studied cello in Bologna, became maestro di cappella at San Giovanni in Monte, then worked in Milan, Rome, London, France, Vienna and Lisbon.
It was whilst working in London as a rival of Handel that John Byrom coined his famous epigram:
Some say, compar'd to Bononcini
That Mynheer Handel's but a Ninny.
Others aver that he to Handel
Is scarcely fit to hold a Candle.
Strange all this Difference should be
'Twixt Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee!
Giovanni died in poverty in Vienna, on 9 July 1747.