Baroque composer Attilio Malachia Ariosti was born on 5 November 1666 in Bologna. He became a Servite friar in 1688, but left the order to become a composer at the court of the Duke of Mantua and Monferrato. He was a singer as well as an organist, harpsichord, and viola d’amore player. By 1692 he was organist at the basilica of Santa Maria dei Servi in Bologna.
In 1697, he went to Berlin at the request of Sophia Charlotte of Hanover, Queen of Prussia, to become composer at the Protestant court. He stayed in Berlin until 1703 when he was employed as a diplomat by Emperor Joseph I. Politics overtook music - hence his small creative output. In London he played the viola d’amore between the acts of Handel’s opera Amadigi in 1716.
In 1724 he published a Collection of Cantatas, and Lessons for the Viola d’Amour, dedicated to George I. This publication was one of the most successful sales of music by subscription in the eighteenth century. He shared with Bononcini the directorship of the Royal Academy of Music Company during Handel’s residence at Canons, Middlesex. He died in obscurity in 1729 having left England in the previous year.