5th January 1740
Antonio Lotti was an Italian composer of classical music. Lotti was born in Venice, although his father Matteo was Kapellmeister at Hanover at the time. In 1682, Lotti began studying with Lodovico Fuga and Giovanni Legrenzi, both of whom were employed at St Mark's Basilica, Venice's principal church. Lotti made his career at St Mark's, first as an alto singer (from 1689), then as assistant to the second organist, then as second organist (from 1692), then (from 1704) as first organist, and finally (from 1736) as maestro di cappella, a position he held until his death. He also wrote music for, and taught at, the Ospedale degli Incurabili. In 1717 he was given leave to go to Dresden, where a number of his operas were produced, including Giove in Argo,
Teofane and Li quattro elementi (all with librettos by Antonio Maria Luchini). He returned to Venice in 1719 and remained there until his death in 1740. Lotti wrote in a variety of forms, producing masses, cantatas, madrigals, around thirty operas, and instrumental music. His sacred choral works are often unaccompanied (a cappella). His work is considered a bridge between the established Baroque and emerging Classical styles. Lotti is thought to have influenced Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, and Johann Dismas Zelenka, all of whom had copies of Lotti's mass, Missa Sapientiae.