Giovanni Gabrieli

Born Around 1555 in Venice, Italy
Died August 12, 1612 in Venice, Italy




Renaissance 1450-1600

Giovanni Gabrieli


Gabrieli was born in Venice around 1555. His uncle Andrea was an organist in Munich, Germany, who wrote music for many ceremonies and festivals. Andrea helped raise Gabrieli, his three sisters and two brothers. The grandeur of his uncle’s music fascinated the young Gabrieli and he absorbed everything that he heard.

Later, back in Venice, Gabrieli wrote music in which four or more groups would play at the same time with the musicians standing in different places in the performance area. The use of instruments in this fashion laid the groundwork for the modern orchestra.

Gabrieli was also the first to request dynamic changes from the musicians in his Sonata piano e forte.