Arcangelo Corelli was an Italian violinist and composer of Baroque music, who exercised a wide influence on his contemporaries and on the succeeding generation of composers. Little is known about his early life. He was born in Fusignano, Italy, in 1653, a full generation before J.S. Bach or Georg Frideric Handel, and studied in Bologna, a distinguished musical center, then established himself in Rome in the 1670's.

His first major success was gained in Paris at the age of 19, and to this he owed his European reputation. Thanks to his musical achievements and growing international reputation he found no trouble in obtaining the support of a succession of influential patrons. History has remembered him with such titles as "Founder of Modern Violin Technique," the "World's First Great Violinist," and the "Father of the Concerto Grosso."

His contributions can be divided three ways, as violinist, composer, and teacher. It was his skill on the new instrument known as the violin and his extensive and very popular concert tours throughout Europe, which did most to give that instrument its prominent place in music. It is probably correct to say that Corelli's popularity as a violinist was as great in his time as was Paganini's during the 19th century. In addition, Corelli was the first person to organise the basic elements of violin technique.

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