Violinist Nicola Cosimi was born in 1667 in Loreto, Ancona. He was a pupil of Arcangelo Corelli and a member of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia in Rome. His talent was spotted by Wriothesley Russell, Marquess of Tavistock (later 2nd Duke of Bedford) on his visit to Rome during his Grand Tour in 1698. The latter invited him to England promising that he would be free to profess his Catholic religion.
He arrived in London in March 1701 in company of the cellist Nicola Francesco Haym.
The two musicians lived for four years at Tavistock’s residence, Southampton House (afterwards Bedford House) at Bloomsbury Square. Cosimi took part in organising a ‘Great Concert’ for the opening of the 1702 Parliament.
In 1702, the Twelve Chamber Sonatas for Violin and Violone or Harpsichord were dedicated to his patron. A portrait painting of Corsini by Godfrey Kneller commissioned by the Duke of Bedford has been lost, but a mezzotint thereof (produced by John Smith in 1706) survives in the collections of the British Museum. While Haym stayed on in Britain, Corsini returned to Rome in 1705 where he acted as an agent for English musicians. He died in 1717, presumably in Rome.