Giuseppe Tartini is an Italian violinist and composer> of the Baroque era, born April 8, 1692 in Pirano (now Piran, Slovenia), near Trieste, and died February 26, 1770 in Padua.
Destined for an ecclesiastical career by his parents, Giuseppe Tartini refused to become a Franciscan; In 1708 they sent him to the University of Padua to study law and then practice law. During these studies, he practiced fencing and went on several occasions on the meadow for duels. His passion for this discipline was so strong that he wanted to go to Paris or Naples to become a master of arms. He would certainly have realized this project if he had not fallen in love with his pupil, Elizabeth Premazore, niece of the cardinal and archbishop of Padua, Giorgio Corner (1658-1722). Tartini secretly married her on July 27, 1710, after the death of her father, which attracted the wrath of her in-laws and the cardinal himself. He had no choice but to leave his wife at Padua, where she was confined in a convent, and to flee to Rome, disguised as a pilgrim. Finding no security anywhere, he went from town to town until he found a safe haven in a monastery in Assisi whose father, Father Giovanni Battista Torre, was one of his parents. Tartini then resumed his violin studies which he had completely neglected at Padua. This imposed retreat metamorphosed his character: whereas he was violent and proud before, he became amiable and humble. This is where, in all likelihood, he received musical instruction from Czech Bohuslav Matěj Černohorský. His hiding remained unknown for a long time, for he was playing in the monastery's church, hidden behind a curtain; but one day a gust of wind raised the curtain, and he was recognized. Tartini thought himself lost, but he learned that the cardinal had forgiven him, and was looking for him to lead him into the arms of his wife!
From 1714, he was an orchestral musician, working in Assisi and Ancona. In 1721, he was entrusted with the direction of the orchestra of the Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua. This post allowed him to make several trips; besides, he stayed several years in Prague where he had the opportunity to attend the coronation of Charles VI. Back in Padua, he founded a renowned music school that attracted musicians from all over Europe. One of his favorite pupils was Pietro Nardini. He wrote many theoretical works on music, including a treatise on the art of ornamentation that could serve as an example to Leopold Mozart for his violin school. Later theoretical works, which were based partly on erroneous speculations, but also on real data from the experiment, were the subject of fierce criticism and doubts by its competitors. These controversies made him ill, and he died in 1770.
Friedrich Rust was a pupil of Tartini around 1767.
Tartini's style has evolved very significantly during his career. At first, he owed much to those of Arcangelo Corelli and Antonio Vivaldi. His manner, giving great importance to ornamentation according to the Baroque tradition, eventually leads to a pre-classical virtuosity. Tartini was famous for his singing game and his legendary bow.