Individual Composer

Antonio Lotti

1666 - 1740

Though identified as a Venetian in his op.1 collection (1705), Lotti was born in Hanover, where his father Matteo was Kapellmeister. By 1683 he was in Venice studying with Legrenzi; the latter's opera Giustino of that year was long attributed to Lotti. When the musical fraternity of S Cecilia was established at the Basilica of S Marco (act of 25 November 1687) Lotti, as an extra singer in the choir, was one of the first to sign its register. On 30 May 1689 he began receiving a regular salary for singing alto; on 6 August 1690 he became an assistant to the second organist, on 31 May 1692 second organist, and on 17 August 1704 first organist, a position he held until 1736 when he was named primo maestro di cappella. When the position became vacant on the death of Antonio Biffi in 1733 he failed to get a plurality of votes in competition with Antonio Pollarolo and Nicola Porpora (8 March 1733), and he had to wait three years to compete once more against Pollarolo, acting maestro since 1733. He now won the endorsement of nine of the 12 procurators of S Marco (2 April 1736), which qualified him for the annual salary of 400 ducats and free lodging in the piazza de' Canonici; he held the position until his death. Angelo Lotti had been appointed to assist him at the organ at his own cost on 2 March 1732. As organist he wrote much music for the choir; the procurators had awarded him 50 ducats as early as 1698 for composing a book of masses.