Giovanni Alberto Ristori

Already a successful composer of opera when he travelled to Dresden in 1715 with his father's theatre company, Ristori established himself there as a harpsichordist and director of the so-called "Polish Kapelle". Members of this group were sent by the Elector of Saxony, August the Strong, to attend the Czarina Anna, who wished to build up her own court orchestra:
"composed of elite musicians acknowledged as virtuosi—for we don’t lack good musicians here—but she would wish that these few persons from this country or abroad each excel in their speciality, if possible. She would like a good harpsichordist who is at the same time a composer, two singers for Italian and German arias, one of them a castrato if possible and the other a female singer who is not ugly or disagreeable but is above all pretty and who has decent manners. A good lute-player taught by [lit. ‘from the hand of ‘] our friend Mr Weis, to whom I wish you to pay my compliments. A good oboist who also has distinction on the flute. A good bassoonist."