Adrian Willaert, classical music composer

Adrian Willaert image

Adrian Willaert


Adrian Willaert was perhaps the most influential composer between Josquin des Prez and Palestrina. As a composer, he is considered the founder of the Venetian School. From his commanding position as maestro di cappella of St. Mark's in Venice, Willaert's style held sway over northern Italy, and influenced successive generations of composers whose further innovations during the late Renaissance would ultimately lead to the first developments toward the burgeoning Baroque period of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. He was also equally renowned as a teacher. Willaert's reputation resulted in an influx of composers into northern Italy who wished to study with him. Among his pupils were Cipriano de Rore, Gioseffo Zarlino, and Andrea Gabrieli.

Willaert was born around 1490 at Rumbeke in modern-day Belgium. According to Zarlino, he first attended to study law in Paris, but ultimately decided to pursue music. In the French capital, he met Jean Mouton, the principal composer of the French royal court, and studied with him. Around 1515, Willaert travelled to Rome, but by July of that year was in the service of the Cardinal Ippolito I d'Este of Ferrara. Willaert likely accompanied Ippolito in his many travels, and consequently was probably in Hungary from 1517 to 1519. Following Ippolito's death in 1520, he entered the service of Duke Alfonso of Ferrara. By 1525, he was in Milan in the employ of Ippolito II d'Este.

In 1527, Willaert was appointed maestro di cappella of St. Mark's, a post which he held until his death in 1562. He significantly raised the standards of music at the cathedral, which had suffered under his predecessor, and soon composers flocked to Venice to study with Willaert. Making use of the cathedral's two choir lofts, each supplied with an organ, Willaert made popular the antiphonal style that would further be developed at the hands of the Gabrielis. Willaert died on December 7, 1562.

Composer Title Date Action
Adrian Willaert O dolce vita mia 01/19/2014 Play Add to playlist
Adrian Willaert Pater Noster 01/19/2014 Play Add to playlist
Adrian Willaert Bais├ęs Moy 07/29/2014 Play Add to playlist
Adrian Willaert Qui verult aymer 07/29/2014 Play Add to playlist