VIDEO PODCAST: Women Composers - Our special hour-long illustrated feature on women composers includes contributions from Diana Ambache, Gail Wein, Hilary Tann, Natalie Artemas-Polak and Victoria Bond.
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.
Ensemble. Handel vs Bononcini - Mike Wheeler listens to the English Concert and soprano Anna Dennis at the Buxton Festival
Ensemble. Bounce and Swagger - Musica Donum Dei's 'Handel and Other Visitors to London', heard by Mike Wheeler