Girolamo Fantini



Italian trumpet player and composer. Regarded as the greatest trumpet player of his age, in 1638 he published Modo per imparare a sonare di tromba, one of the first instrumental performing methods, and still important.

Fantini's baptism was recorded in Spoleto on February 11, 1600. Nothing is known of his early life, although Spoleto is noted in several sources as having a flourishing tradition of trumpet-playing, and it is probable that he served his apprenticeship there. He is next heard of when he entered the service of the family of Cardinal Scipione Borghese on February 20, 1626, in Rome, appearing in the records of the family through October of 1630. Certainly in April 1631, and possibly earlier, he entered the service of Ferdinand II, Grand Duke of Tuscany, in Florence, where he remained through 1638, when he was licensed to publish Modo per imparare a sonare di tromba (Frankfurt 1638), which he began to write in 1635, when he was granted "that bit of leisure, accompanied by study." While in the service of the Grand Duke, probably in April 1634, Fantini performed a concert with Frescobaldi in Rome for Cardinal Borghese that is the first documented instance of the trumpet in a soloistic rôle with organ. This combination was unknown until then, and Fantini found it particularly appealing, to the point of devoting the greater part of his treatise to it. After 1638 little is known of Fantini's activities, although there are sporadic records of performances in Florence through at least 1642, until his presence was noted in Florence on May 6, 1675, and it is probable that he died shortly thereafter.


See also: Igino Conforzi Girolamo Fantini: Recent Additions to His Biography 5 J Hist Brass Soc 159 (1993)

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