Attilio Ariosti (November 5, 1666 ? 1729) was an Italian composer in the Baroque style, born in Bologna. He produced more than 30 operas and oratorios, numerous cantatas and instrumental works. He was born into the middle class. He became a monk in 1688 at age 22, but he soon obtained permission to leave the order and become a composer in the court of the Duke of Mantua and Monferrato. He became a deacon in 1692, the same year he achieved the post of organist at S. Maria dei Servi in Bologna.
In 1697, he went to Berlin at the request of Sophia Charlotte of Hanover, Queen of Prussia, a great-granddaughter of James I of England and daughter of the Electress Sophia of Hanover, an enlightened patroness of the arts with a keen interest in music. After enjoying the favor of the Queen, Ariosti wrote and collaborated in the writing of a number of stage works performed for the court in Berlin. He resided in Berlin as the court composer until 1703.
His first opera was performed in Venice in 1697. From 1703 to 1709 he was the General Austrian Agent for Italy, under the reign of Joseph I. After 1715 he achieved enormous success in Paris and London. In 1719 he worked with Georg Friedrich Händel on cantatas for the Royal Academy in London. His favorite instrument was the viola d'amore.
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