Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi (15 May 1567 – 29 November 1643) was an Italian composer, gambist, singer and Roman Catholic priest.
Monteverdi's work, often regarded as revolutionary, marked the change from the Renaissance style of music to that of the Baroque period. He developed two styles of composition – the heritage of Renaissance polyphony and the new basso continuo technique of the Baroque. Monteverdi wrote one of the earliest operas, L'Orfeo, a novel work that is the earliest surviving opera still regularly performed. He is widely recognized as an inventive composer who enjoyed considerable fame in his life-time.
Claudio Monteverdi was born in 1567 in Cremona, Lombardy. His father was Baldassare Monteverdi, a doctor, apothecary and amateur surgeon. He was the oldest of five children. During his childhood, he was taught by Marc'Antonio Ingegneri, the maestro di cappella at the Cathedral of Cremona. The Maestro’s job was to conduct important worship services in accordance with the liturgy of the Catholic Church. Monteverdi learned about music as a member of the cathedral choir. He also studied at the University of Cremona. His first music was written for publication, including some motets and sacred madrigals, in 1582 and 1583. His first five publications were: Sacrae cantiunculae, 1582 (a collection of miniature motets); Madrigali Spirituali, 1583 (a volume of which only the bass partbook is extant); Canzonette a tre voci, 1584 (a collection of three-voice canzonettes); and the five-part madrigals Book I, 1587, and Book II, 1590. He worked at the court of Vincenzo I of Gonzaga in Mantua as a vocalist and viol player, then as music director. In 1602, he was working as the court conductor and Vincenzo appointed him master of music on the death of Benedetto Pallavicino...
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