Arcangelo Corelli was a 17th century Italian composer and violinist. His compositions, though modest in number, highly influenced future composers such as Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel in terms of form, style and technique. His output consisted of only three genres—solo sonata, trio sonata, and concerto—in six collections. His work as a violin teacher and pedagogue was equally as important and influential.
Corelli was born in the small village of Fusignano and raised by his widowed mother; Corelli's father died one month before his birth. Despite this unfortunate circumstance came from a family of wealthy landowners with a respectably high social status. Not much is known about Corelli’s early years, though many stories have been told, many of which must be taken with some reservation. Crescimbeni, a leading member of the Arcadian Academy who must have been well acquainted with Corelli, claimed that Corelli first began music lessons in Faenza with a priest, continued his studies in Lugo, and later studied in Bologna, home to many promising composers such as Cazzati, Perti, Colonna, G.B. Vitali, and later Torelli. A testimony from Charles Burney cited that Corelli studied violin with B.G. Laurenti, however Padre Martini claimed that Corelli studied with Giovanni Benvenuti and Leonardo Brugnoli. Part of the confusion results from the tendency of 18th century historians to pair famous musicians with teachers they deemed worthy.