Born March 4, 1678 in Venice, Italy
Died July 28, 1741 in Vienna, Austria
Choral – Gloria, Chamber Music – The Four Seasons
Nicknamed the “Red Priest” because of his red hair, Vivaldi was trained in music by his father. He was allowed to discontinue his priestly duties in 1704 because of ill health, but continued to pursue a musical career. He became head of the Conservatory of the Ospedale della Pieta which housed over 6,000 orphaned girls. Music was an integral part of their training at the Conservatory and Vivaldi wrote over 400 concertos for his students.
His personality was one of contrasts – quickly changing from irritated to very calm. His music reflected this trait. It also showed contrasts in dynamics, harmony and varied rhythms. The Four Seasons was his most popular work, for which he wrote sonnets to match the seasons.