Giovanni Battista Draghi (composer)

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For Giovanni Battista Draghi, best known as Pergolesi, see Giovanni Battista Pergolesi.

Giovanni Battista Draghi (ca. 1640 – 13 May 1708) was an Anglo-Italian composer and keyboard player. He may have been the brother of the composer Antonio Draghi.

Draghi was brought to London in the 1660s by King Charles II who was trying, unsuccessfully, to establish Italian opera in England. He remained in England for the rest of his life.

In 1673 Draghi was made first organist of the queen's Catholic chapel in Somerset House. In 1684 he took part in what became known as the Battle of the Organs. He was hired by master organ maker Renatus Harris to demonstrate the superiority of his organ when Harris was trying to gain the contract to build the new organ for the Temple Church. Harris' rival "Father" Bernard Smith hired organists and composers John Blow and Henry Purcell to demonstrate his organ and won the contest.

Draghi was awarded a pension by King William III in 1698.

References[edit]

  • The Oxford Dictionary of Opera, by John Warrack and Ewan West (1992), 782 pages, ISBN 0-19-869164-5