Antonio Vivaldi, classical music composer
Born on March 4, 1678 in Venice,
received musical instruction from an early age. His father, originally a barber, became a professional violinist and, after teaching Antonio to play the instrument as well, toured Venice performing with his son. Furthermore, his father helped found the Sovvegno dei musicisti di Santa Cecilia, an association of musicians. The president of the Sovvegno and maestro di capella at St. Mark's Basilica, Giovanni Legrenzi, likely gave Vivaldi his first composition lessons. In 1693, Vivaldi began studying to be a priest and was ordained in 1703. He soon acquired the nickname of il Prete Rosso, "The Red Priest," because of his red hair.
In September 1703, Vivaldi became maestro di violino (master of violin) at the Pio Ospedale della Pietà (Devout Hospital of Mercy), an orphanage in Venice. Several of these orphanages existed in Venice and were designed to give shelter and education to abandoned and orphaned children throughout the city. Boys were taught useful trades and were required to leave at the age of 15. Girls, on the other hand, received a musical education and the most talented were allowed to stay and became members of the Ospedale's orchestra and choir. It was for these ensembles that many of Vivaldi's works were written. Despite being briefly dismissed by the Ospedale, Vivaldi was eventually promoted to the position of maestro di concerti (music director) and was in charge of all musical activities at the institution.
Around 1718, Vivaldi was offered the position of maestro di capella at the court of prince Phillip of Hesse-Darmstadt, governor of Mantua. He remained in Mantua for three years before moving first to Milan in 1721, Rome in 1722 and then returning to Venice in 1725.
Though Vivaldi was highly regarded as a composer during his career and received commissions from Europe's nobility, the quickly changing musical styles of the 18th century eventually left him in a dire financial situation. Late in life, he managed to pull together the funds to move to Vienna. Vivaldi's motivation for moving to Vienna is not exactly clear, however, it is likely he sought a position at the imperial court of Emperor Charles VI, whom he had met in 1728. Luck it seems was not on Vivaldi's side. Shortly after his arrival in Vienna, the emperor died leaving Vivaldi with no hope of steady income. Formerly a renowned composer, Vivaldi died in poverty shortly after the emperor on July 28, 1741. His funeral took place at St. Stephen's where Joseph Haydn was, at the time, a choirboy.
Sinfonia in G
Harpsichord Concerto in A Major
Concerto in C Major, RV 114
Four Seasons for cello and orchestra: Autumn
Four seasons for cello and orchestra Autumn
Four Seasons for cello and orchestra: Spring
Four seasons for cello and orchestra Spring
Four seasons for cello and orchestra Summer
Four Seasons for cello and orchestra: Summer
Four seasons for cello and orchestra: Winter
Four seasons for cello and orchestra Winter
Cello Sonata in B-flat Major
Concerto in C Major for Two Trumpets, RV 537
Trio Sonata in d minor "La follia" Op. 1 No. 12
Concerto in F minor Op.8-4 RV 297
Nulla in mundo pax sincera
Perdona, o figlio amato, from Farnace
Concerto for 4 violins, cello, strings & continuo in B minor, "L'estro armonico" op. 3, no. 10, RV 580
Concerto for Four Violins in B minor RV 580
Inverno / Winter Concerto in f Op. 8 RV 297
Concerto no. 3, op. 3 (L'Estro Armonico) in G Major for solo violin
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