(b Atri, 1458; d Conversano, Jan 19, 1529). Italian humanist, patron and theorist. He was a member of the Accademia Pontaniana in Naples and initiated a long-standing tradition of musical culture in the family of the dukes of Atri, who were important patrons; his son Giovanni Antonio Donato was also a lira player. Acquaviva d’Aragona financed the Neapolitan printer Antonio de Frizis and housed the press in his palace in Naples. One of the earliest examples of music printing in the kingdom of Naples was the Motetti libro primo printed by De Frizis in 1519 (it is no longer extant, but a copy was owned by Fernando Colón). In 1526 De Frizis printed Acquaviva d’Aragona’s Latin translation of Plutarch’s De virtute morali, which was followed by an extensive Latin commentary including a 76-page treatise De musica (the whole was reprinted in Frankfurt in 1609). Notable for its wealth of illustrations and for its incorporation into a broader context addressed to humanists in general rather than to a specialized musical readership, the treatise is largely based on the writings of Boethius and Gaffurius, and takes as its point of departure Plutarch’s observations on music’s power of suggestion. The ...
Marco Della Sciucca
(b Verona, Oct 8, 1536; d Verona, Aug 1, 1593). Italian patron of music. He was a member of the nobility. He graduated in law at Bologna in 1567, and on returning to Verona he entered the Accademia Filarmonica in 1568. He was an important member of the city government but his main interests lay in the arts and culture. In the Palazzo Bevilacqua, built by Sanmicheli in about 1535, he created a museum of Greco-Roman antiquities, a picture gallery, a library and the famous ridotto. Among the salaried musicians of the ridotto were Sebastiano Pigna, Paolo Masnelli, Ercole Pasquini and Domenico Lauro. Stefano Bernardi also probably served there as a boy chorister. Pietro Pontio's dialogue Ragionamento di musica (1588) is dedicated to Bevilacqua and is set in the ridotto, which the author described as a place where ‘almost daily, many gentlemen gather and exercise themselves in virtuous things such as playing and singing and discussions of similar topics’. Many composers, including Lassus, Marenzio, Leoni, Orazio Vecchi, Claudio Merulo, Philippe de Monte, Girolamo della Casa, Massaino, Gabriele Martinengo, Filippo Nicoletti and Maddalena Casulana also dedicated their works to Bevilacqua. On ...
revised by Noel O’Regan
(b Arona, Oct 2, 1538; d Milan, Nov 3, 1584). Italian ecclesiastic. His career as churchman was spectacular. Born into a well-established Milanese family, he took a degree in theology and law at Padua in 1559. When his uncle Giovanni Angelo de' Medici (of the Milanese Medici family, not the Florentine) was elected Pope Pius IV in December 1559, the young Borromeo rose swiftly to high office. In January 1560 he was made papal secretary of state and cardinal; the next month he was appointed Archbishop of Milan. Within two years he proved himself an exceptional statesman, reviving the moribund Council of Trent and guiding it to a successful conclusion in 1563, 18 years after its beginnings. From 1560 to 1565, while at Rome, he was the foremost figure in the papal government after the pope. In 1610 he was canonized.
There is ample evidence of Borromeo's interest in sacred music. In ...
(b Florence, July 17, 1561; d Florence, Dec 29, 1602). Italian patron and composer. He was of aristocratic origins and may have been associated with the Camerata of Count Giovanni de’ Bardi, which was at its most active between 1577 and 1582, though there was rivalry between Bardi and Corsi and among the musicians and patrons associated with each. After Bardi’s departure for Rome in 1592 Corsi was the leader of the principal artistic group in Florence and, except for the Medici family, the most important patron of music there. While Bardi’s Camerata was preoccupied with the philosophy and theory of music, Corsi’s circle defined its interests more narrowly to take a practical interest in the relationship of music and dramatic poetry. Carlo Roberto Dati (see Solerti, 1904) recalled that Corsi’s house ‘was always open, as though a public academy, to all who took a lively interest in the liberal arts … noblemen, literati and eminent poets and musicians’, and named Tasso, Chiabrera, Marino, Monteverdi and Effrem as some of the guests there; but more important was the regular attendance of Florentines, especially Ottavio Rinuccini and Jacopo Peri, whose discussions and experiments led to what is now regarded as the birth of opera....
(b Greenwich, Sept 7, 1533; d London, March 24, 1603). English patron of music. She was the second daughter of Henry VIII (by Anne Boleyn), came to the throne in 1558 and reigned until her death. She received the classical education of a Renaissance prince, including studies in Latin and Greek with Roger Ascham. Shortly after Elizabeth’s death John Clapham, a courtier in Burghley’s household, wrote that ‘in matters of recreation, as singing, dancing and playing upon instruments, she was not ignorant nor excellent’. There are no contemporary accounts of her singing, but of the 1599 Twelfth Night revels the Spanish ambassador reported that ‘the head of the Church of England and Ireland was to be seen in her old age dancing three or four galliards’ (Calendar of Letters and Papers in the Archives of Simancas, iv, 650). As for her ‘playing upon instruments’, according to Playford (...
(b Cognac, Sept 12, 1494; reigned 1515–47;d Rambouillet, March 31, 1547). French ruler, poet and patron. He was the son of Charles de Valois, Duke of Angoulême, and Louise of Savoy, and succeeded his cousin Louis XII, whose daughter Claude de France he had married in 1514. Dubbed ‘père et restaurateur des lettres’, François encouraged Renaissance ideas, patronizing Italian and French artists, poets and musicians in his new châteaux (notably Chambord and Fontainebleau), protecting humanist scholars such as Erasmus, Budé and Dolet against the censure of the Paris Parlement and University, granting printing privileges (to Attaingnant, among others), establishing regius professorships in Latin, Greek, Hebrew and mathematics, and founding the Collège de France and the royal library (the nucleus of the Bibliothèque Nationale).
François recognized the political and diplomatic value of a large musical establishment; as well as employing instrumentalists in his domestic service he had a lavish chapel (...
(b Mantua, April 24, 1538; d Goito, nr Mantua, Aug 14, 1587). Italian composer and patron of music. Shortly before he succeeded his uncle, Cardinal Ercole Gonzaga, as Duke of Mantua in 1556, he founded the palatine basilica of S Barbara, which was completed in 1565 with an impressive organ designed by Girolamo Cavazzoni and constructed by the Brescian builder Graziadio Antegnati (i). Throughout his reign he maintained a strong interest in the music of the new chapel, then directed by Wert and Gastoldi, as well as in court music. He secured from Pope Gregory XIII a concession, dated 10 November 1583, for S Barbara's specially constituted college of canons to practise an independent liturgy, and he was personally involved in attempts to attract Marenzio and Annibale Zoilo to Mantua. Although he failed in this, mainly because of Vatican political machinations, his relationship with Palestrina seems to have been close; Palestrina composed a series of masses on chants from the S Barbara liturgy, which reflect the ...
(b Greenwich, June 28, 1491; ruled 1509–47; d Windsor, Jan 28, 1547). English ruler and patron of music. The younger son of Henry VII, he was originally intended for the Church, and his education included instruction in music. His interest and ability in the art are amply confirmed by contemporary accounts, and when he ascended the throne in 1509 (his elder brother Arthur having died in 1502) music occupied a prominent place in life at court. It played a part in ceremonies of all kinds: meetings of heads of state, processions, banquets, tournaments and so on. Thus, at his coronation banquet ‘there was a stage on which there were some boys, some of whom sang, and others played the flute, rebeck and harpsichord’ (Nicolò Sagudino).
During the first half of Henry's reign the leading court musician was William Cornysh, Master of the Children of the Chapel Royal. Cornysh was in charge of the music and elaborate pageantry at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in ...
(b c1470; d mid-Jan 1538). English lawyer and ecclesiastic. He was master at Trinity College, Arundel, and commissioner and donor of the Caius Choirbook. Born into a Shropshire family, he studied at the University of Oxford, from which he held degrees in both canon and civil law by the time of his ordination to the priesthood in 1501. He subsequently pursued a distinguished legal career in London and Westminster as a judge in the Court of Requests (1509–13) and a master in Chancery (9 March 1512); he may also have been the ‘Master Higons’ named as occupying the privileged position of Clerk of the Closet in Henry VIII's retinue at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in the summer of 1520.
As so often happens, professional advancement and ecclesiastical preferment went hand in hand. During a period of some 30 years Higgins amassed an impressive number of benefices, including at least a dozen rectories, vicarages and deanships, a chaplaincy to Henry VIII (by ...
Clement A. Miller
(b Augsburg, Oct 14, 1465; d Augsburg, Dec 28, 1547). German diplomat, humanist and patron of music . After studies in Basle and several Italian cities he returned to Augsburg in 1497 as secretary of the town council. He became a trusted adviser of Emperor Maximilian I (d 1519) and an important link between the artistic activities of Augsburg and the imperial court. In 1521, during the reign of Charles V, he met Luther and tried unsuccessfully to get the reformer to recant. Peutinger was bound to musicians by both friendship and correspondence. He aided the work of the music printer Erhard Oeglin and Petrus Tritonius, the composer of Horatian ode settings. He was closely associated with Veit Bild, the Benedictine theorist and composer, and Othmar Luscinius, the theorist and humanist. His correspondence with Nicolaus Ellenbog reveals their mutual interest in literature and music. He wrote the postscript to ...