Admired both by his peers and by the public for his musical abilities, besides being a gifted composer he was also a brilliant cellist, Bononcini was sought after by royalty and the aristocracy and worked throughout Europe from his beginnings in Bologna, then to Rome, via Vienna to London, Paris, Madrid, Lisbon and returning to Vienna.
His string of London successes began in 1720 with Astarto, performed at the Haymarket Theatre; subsequent works for the Royal Academy included Muzio Scevola (1721), Crispo (1722), Griselda (1722), Erminia (1723), and Calfurnia (1724). In spite of cabals against him (and against Italian opera altogether), his works were received with acclaim in London throughout the 1720s and were often in competition with Handel's works.
In 1733 he was in Paris, where he composed works for the Concert spirituel; pensioned in Vienna by Maria Theresa, 1741. He was one of the most prominent international musical figures of his day; his output is extremely large and includes some 62 stage works, nearly 300 cantatas for solo voice, and sacred vocal works, including four Messe brevi (1688), a Laudate pueri (5 voices, orchestra, 1733), a Te Deum (1741), and three sacred madrigals; instrumental works, including Trattenimenti da camera à tre op. 1 (1685), Concerti da camera à tre op. 2 (1685), Sinfonie in 2-8 parts, op. 3-6 (1685-87); Divertimenti da camera (1722), and XII Sonatas for the Chamber (1732).