Pietro Paolo Bencini

(c.1670 – 1755)

Italian composer. Bencini was born into a family of musicians of which he was to become the most famous member. In 1703 he was included in the group of Roman masters of the chapel who were officially recognized by the congregation of musicians; he was then maestro di cappellaat Santa Maria dell'Anima, the Germanic church in Rome. The title in fact meant that Bencini had the task of organizing the music for important feast days.

In 1705, he succeeded Alessandro Scarlatti as maestro coadiutore,i.e. 'assistant' to Giovanni Bicilli, who had then composed and directed the music for the Congregazione dell'Oratorio di San Filippo Neri at Santa Maria in Valcella for almost fifty years. When Bicilli died in October of that year, Bencini took over his position. In 1706, he was elected guardianoof the congregation of musicians, an important post, to which he was re-elected the following year and again in 1712. In 1743 he obtained the post of maestro di cappellaat the Cappella Giulia in St Peter's in succession to Pitoni. As was customary when a maestro di cappellabecame too old, the chapter of the basilica gave him a maestro coadiutorein 1749. This post was taken by Niccolo Jommelli from 1749 to 1752, then by Giovanni Battista Costanzi (1704-1778), who succeeded him as maestro di cappellaof the Cappella Giulia at his death in 1755.

VIIIF: Sacred Music in the Italian Settecento  |  The Research Periods