Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741)
was an Italian Baroque musical composer, virtuoso violinist, teacher, and cleric. Born in Venice, he is recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers, and his influence during his lifetime was widespread across Europe. He composed many instrumental concertos, for the violin and a variety of other instruments, as well as sacred choral works and operas. His best-known work is a series of violin concertos known as the Four Seasons.
Many of his compositions were written for the all- female music ensemble of the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for abandoned children where Vivaldi (who had been ordained as a Catholic priest) was employed from 1703 to 1715 and from 1723 to 1740.
Vivaldi was an innovator, as a composer, amazing violinist and pedagogue, his life and genius influenced a number of notable artists. However, because of struggles later in life, his music was nearly lost to obscurity. Thankfully, the meticulous efforts of diligent researchers have ensured that his great body of music will be available to inspire countless future generations of musicians.
“Vivaldi could do a rock concert quite easily, and Vivaldi can appeal to everyone, he’s alone, he’s absolutely unique. You talk about the Baroque style, and the romantic style…Vivaldi cuts that whole suede. With the ‘tremendous energy’ present in his music, Vivaldi is truly one of a kind and is difficult to imitate, he doesn’t fit anywhere, and he fits everywhere.”