Giacobbe Cervetto

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Giacobbe Basevi, known as Giacobbe Cervetto, (1680 – 14 January 1783)[1] was an Anglo-Italian musician of Jewish descent, who was an important classical cellist and composer of Baroque music for cello in 18th century England, where he arrived in 1728. He became solo cellist at the Drury Lane Theatre, where the musician and music historian Charles Burney met him when he joined the theatre's orchestra in the season of 1744/45. He reported that Cervetto had "brought the violoncello into favour, and made us nice judges of that instrument."[2]

According to the Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, little is known about his early life but he is thought to have been born in northern Italy.[3] Burney referred to him as "a Venetian".[1] The Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History states his birthplace as Verona.[4]

His son James Cervetto (1747–1837) was a cellist and composer for his instrument.

Selected works[edit]

  • Six sonatas or trios Op. 1 (1741)
  • Twelve Sonatas for Cello and B.c. , Op.2 (self-published in London by subscription, n.d., ca 1750)
  • Eight Solos for a German Flute and B.c. Op. 3 (1757)
  • VI Trios for 2 Violins and Violoncello/Cembalo (1758)
  • Six Lessons or Divertimenti for 2 Violins und B.c. Op. 4 (1761)


  1. ^ a b Speare, Marija Đurić (2001). "Cervetto, Giacobbe Basevi". New Grove Dictionary of Musicians. Retrieved 11 September 2018 (subscription required for full access).
  2. ^ Fanny Burney, Stewart J. Cooke, ed. The Early Journals and Letters of Fanny Burney, vol. I (1988): Journal 1768, p. 42 note.
  3. ^ s.n. (1970). "Basevi, Giacobbe, detto Cervetto". Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Vol. 7. Treccani. Online version Retrieved 11 September 2018 (in Italian)
  4. ^ Rubinstein, W. and Jolles, Michael A. (eds.) (2011). "Cervetto, Jacob Basevi".The Palgrave Dictionary of Anglo-Jewish History, p. 312. Springer. ISBN 0230304664

External links[edit]