Benedetto Marcello was born in Venice to a noble family. He studied music with Antonio Lotti and Francesco Gasparini, but his father wanted him to pursue a career in law. Marcello managed to combine the two, advancing within the networks of Venice’s government whilst simultaneously composing a number of works for various ensembles. Marcello married one of his singing students, though as a nobleman his marriage to a commoner was unlawful and declared null by the state, meaning that after his death his widow was unable to inherit his estate and was left destitute.
Marcello composed a large amount of music, including church music, oratorios, cantatas, sonatas, concertos, and sinfonias. Much of his music is written in the same vein as Vivaldi, who was a younger contemporary of Marcello.