Francesco Corbetta [Francisque Corbette]

(ca. 1615 - 1681)v>

Italian composer and guitar player. He was already active as a teacher in Italy by 1639, but spent most of his adult life as a teacher and performer at the royal courts in Paris and, after the Restoration, in London. He was brought to Paris by Mazarin, and became the teacher of Louis XIV; at the Restoration, with many other musicians, he followed Charles II to London. Samuel Pepys mentions hearing "Signor Francisco" play the guitar, but was very snobbish about the instrument and wondered why Corbetta had devoted himself to the instrument. Corbetta was a great virtuoso, and wrote exclusively for the 5-course guitar. Five collections of his works survive: three in Italian style, published in 1639, 1643 and 1648, and two in French style, written and published much later, in 1671 and 1674. One of the latter is dedicated to louis XIV, the other to Charles II.