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Brian Crosby

(b Lincoln, c1650; bur. Durham, April 11, 1721). English musician. He was the son of the John Blundevile who was associated with the choir of Lincoln Cathedral from 1622 to 1692. It is reasonable to identify him with the chorister of that name who was at Lincoln in 1660, and then at the Chapel Royal until Christmas Day 1664. It appears he then worked successively in Ely, as a lay clerk and informator between 1669 and 1674, in Lichfield in 1676 (having failed to produce the necessary certificate at Winchester on 16 May), and in Dublin, from 1677 to 1679. From 1681 he was a lay clerk at York Minster, becoming Master of the Choristers the following year. He held this post until 1692. On 15 May 1693 the Dean of Durham Cathedral was instructed to write to Blundevile to ascertain on what terms he would transfer his allegiance from York to Durham. Although Blundevile did leave York at this time, it is not known where he went, and it was not until ...


(b Novellara, nr Reggio nell'Emilia, 5 Feb or Nov 1582; d Ancona, March 9, 1659). Italian dramatist. He spent his first years in Novellara with his relative Camillo Gonzaga. He was trained at the court of Ferrara and Modena where he lived with his brother Guidobaldo (a writer of tragedies) and then at the Collegio Borromeo in Pavia. Despite an offer of service with the Este family he established himself in Ancona (c1604), retaining his residency when he entered the service of the Medici in Florence. He was a member of various academies (including the Intrepidi of Ferrara, the Gelati of Bologna and the Umoristi of Rome); in Ancona he founded the Accademia dei Caliginosi (7 Jan 1624) and organized the activities of the public theatre of the ‘Arsenale’.

Bonarelli's works were performed in various Italian cities and in Vienna, for which court he provided opera-ballettos, pastorals, ...


Sven Hansell

(b Milan, ? end of the 17th century; d Milan, ? c1758). Italian composer, possibly an impresario, singing teacher and violinist. 18th-century sources (e.g. BurneyH; GerberL; GerberNL and La BordeE) blur the distinction between two or more musicians active in Milan by failing to give first names. Only the revised edition of Mancini (1777) supplies Giuseppe Ferdinando as the composer’s first names and describes him as a prominent Milanese singing teacher without identifying him with the violinist, composer and impresario also active in Milan. In fact a family of Brivios could be involved, including an older singing teacher, Carlo Francesco Brivio, who appeared in Milanese operas of 1696, Teodolinda and L’Etna festante, the librettos for which call him ‘musico di S.E. il Castellano’ (the castle commander’s musician). Suggested as Giuseppe Ferdinando’s father (Martinotti in DBI), this Carlo Francesco may have been the bass employed in the ducal court chapel until ...


Margaret Laurie

(b Oxford, bap. March 3, 1606; d London, April 7, 1668). English dramatist, theatre manager and poet. After his arrival in London in 1622, he found employment in the households of various members of the nobility until in 1634 he entered the service of Charles I's queen. He then provided the texts of the last five court masques performed before the Civil War: The Temple of Love (1635), Britannia triumphans (1638), Luminalia (1638) and Salmacida spolia (1640), all staged at Whitehall, and The Triumphs of the Prince d'Amour (1636), given in the Middle Temple (the 2nd and 5th ed. M. Lefkowitz, Trois masques à la cour de Charles Ier d'Angleterre, Paris, 1970). The last was unusual in being entirely set to music (by Henry and William Lawes). In December 1638 the king granted Davenant an annual pension of £100, which in effect created him Poet Laureate, although he was never officially so entitled until after his death. Three months later he obtained a royal patent to build a new theatre ‘wherein plays, musical entertainments, scenes, or other like presentments may be presented’, but this attempt to bring music and spectacle to a wider public came to nothing. He was appointed governor of the Cockpit Theatre in ...


David S. Butchart

(b Florence, June 21, 1577; d Florence, Sept 20, 1647). Italian composer and court administrator. He was a nobleman and belonged to the Knights of St Stephen, a military order based in Pisa. He was probably an associate of the circle of Florentine poets and musicians that had Jacopo Corsi as its patron from about 1592 to 1602. He received musical tuition from Marco da Gagliano, who, dedicating his second book of madrigals (1604) to him, praised his talents and compositions. Del Turco published his own first book of madrigals in 1602, and Gagliano included single pieces by him in his first four madrigal books between then and 1606; that in the second book is a lament on Corsi's death. Del Turco became secretary of Gagliano's Accademia degli Elevati, which was founded in 1607. In the same year he is mentioned in Monteverdi's Scherzi musicali, by the latter's brother Giulio Cesare, as one of the ‘gentlemen of that heroic school’ whose practice Monteverdi followed. In ...


Michael Talbot

(b Venice, Sept 23, 1689; d ?Moscow, after 1763). Italian tenor, impresario and librettist . He sang at Venice and elsewhere in Italy between 1715 and 1723, at first taking leading roles such as Artabanus in Vivaldi’s La costanza trionfante degli amori e degli odii (Venice, Carnival 1716), but within a few years singing only minor parts. In 1724 the impresario Antonio Maria Peruzzi engaged Denzio to assemble a company of singers in Venice and bring them to Prague, where they performed in the theatres of Count Franz Anton von Sporck. Peruzzi’s financial mismanagement of the company led to his being replaced as impresario by Denzio late in that year; in the next ten years Denzio staged 57 productions of operas and sacred dramas in Prague, including works by Vivaldi and Albinoni as well as by the troupe’s composers, Antonio Bioni and Giovanni Antonio Guerra. Denzio’s own librettos included ...


Rudolf Schnitzler and Herbert Seifert

(b Rimini, probably between Jan 17, 1634 and Jan 16, 1635; d Vienna, Jan 16, 1700). Austrian composer, administrator and librettist of Italian birth, possibly a brother of Giovanni Battista Draghi. He was one of the most prominent musicians in Vienna during the last third of the 17th century and an exceptionally prolific composer of operas, oratorios and other theatre music.

Rimini is given as Draghi’s place of descent not only in the first known biographical sources at Padua, but also in the marriage records of the Stephansdom, Vienna, in 1661. The death certificate dated 18 January 1700 gives his age as 65, so he seems to have been born in Rimini about 1634. In November 1645, aged about 11, he entered the service of the basilica of S Antonio, Padua, as a soprano singer, together with his uncle and probably music teacher Francesco Florido (a clergyman who seems to have been active at the cathedral of Urbania as ...


Beth L. Glixon


(b Venice, Jan 25, 1621; d Venice, Oct 14, 1678). Italian composer, teacher and opera impresario. He was a canon at the cathedral of Venice, S Pietro di Castello, but the surviving evidence of his musical activities primarily concerns secular genres. He sang in G.A. Cicognini’s and Francesco Lucio's Gl'amori di Alessandro Magno, e di Rossane at the Teatro SS Apostoli, Venice, in 1651 and had begun teaching music to private students by 1652. According to testimony given in 1678, Enno taught the composer Antonio Giannettini during the 1660s. That decade he also published his two songbooks, Arie a una e due voci (Venice, 1654, dedicated to Candido Bentio, vicar-general of the canons of Santo Spirito, Venice) and Ariose cantate (Venice, 1655, dedicated to Giacomo Ascarelli). In 1667 Enno mounted at the Teatro S Moisè Alessandro amante, a reworking of G.A. Cicognini's libretto Gl'amori di Alessandro Magno with music by G.A. Boretti: he had hoped to stage that opera at the Teatro S Apollinare the previous season, when he also prepared two women for operatic roles. Enno continued to train women for the operatic stage during the 1670s. According to testimony given in ...


Thomas Walker

revised by Beth L. Glixon and Jonathan E. Glixon

(b Venice, May 19, 1615; d Venice, Dec 19, 1651). Italian librettist and theatre manager. His mother, Isabetta Vecellio, was the daughter of the noted artist and costume illustrator Cesare Vecellio. He wrote 14 librettos for the Venetian stage between 1642 and 1651, most of them set to music by Cavalli, and was impresario of the S Moisè and S Apollinare theatres. At his death he left five librettos in various states of completion, which were subsequently finished and, with the exception of Medea placata, performed under the auspices of his brother, the impresario Marco Faustini. The Faustini-Cavalli collaborations constituted the most constant presence during a highly unstable and formative decade in the history of Venetian opera. Faustini's dramas, the plots and characters of which are usually newly invented, rather than historical or mythological, often develop the entangled relations of two pairs of lovers, cleverly resolving all problems at the last moment to the satisfaction of all (or nearly all) concerned. Some of the later plots are highly intricate, notably ...


(b Reggio nell’Emilia, probably in 1603 or 1604; d Modena, Oct 22, 1681). Italian librettist, composer, instrumentalist, impresario and poet. Together with Francesco Manelli he established the tradition of public operatic performances at Venice.

Most biographers have followed Tiraboschi in giving Ferrari’s date of birth as about 1597. Tiraboschi deduced this date from his reading of the libri camerali of Modena, in which Ferrari is recorded as having died in 1681 at the age of 84. He supported his conclusion with the (groundless) conjecture that a portrait with the inscription ‘aetatis ann. XXXX’ which appeared in the 1644 edition of L’Andromeda might have been reproduced from the first (1637) edition of the libretto. An earlier portrait does survive, in the first edition of the favola la maga fulminata (1638), in which Ferrari’s age is given as 34; both inscriptions thus suggest a birthdate of ...


Marcel Frémiot

[Gaultier de Marseille]

(b La Ciotat, ?1642; d at sea nr Sète, 1696). French composer, opera director, organist and teacher. He probably studied in Paris. In 1682 he was in Marseilles as organist and teacher of the organ, harpsichord and composition. On 8 July 1684 he received permission from Lully to establish an academy of music there: this was Lully’s first authorization of an opera house in the provinces. The first performance, on 28 January 1685, was Le triomphe de la paix, with libretto as well as music by Gautier; it was performed successfully several times a week until the beginning of Lent. Later in 1685 Gautier was in Paris to hire new performers. The 1685–6 season met with equal success, with performances of Lully’s Le triomphe de l’amour, Phaëton and Armide. On 5 February 1687 Gautier’s opera Le jugement du soleil was performed before an audience of over 1000 on the terrace of the home of the superintendant of the galleys to celebrate Louis XIV’s successful recovery from an operation. During the summer and autumn of ...


George J. Buelow

revised by Samantha Owens

[Cousser, Jean Sigismond; Cousser, John Sigismond]

(b Pressburg [now Bratislava], Hungary, bap. Feb 13, 1660; d Dublin, Ireland, Dec 1727). Composer and music director of Hungarian parentage, active in Germany, England, and Ireland. In 1674 he moved to Stuttgart with his parents and sister, having fled Hungary due to religious persecution. His father, the composer Johann (Ján) Kusser (1626–95), became music director at Stuttgart’s Stiftskirche and was also a teacher at the local Latin school. J.G. Walther reported that Cousser then spent six years in Paris studying with Lully, although there is no further evidence to confirm this relationship. Indeed, Cousser later claimed that he had taught himself to follow Lully’s methods (Composition de musique, 1682). In August 1680 Cousser’s name was included in a list of musicians employed by Margrave Ludwig Wilhelm of Baden, but he had returned to Stuttgart by November 1682, when he dedicated a collection of French-style overture suites to the Administrator Duke of Württemberg, Friedrich Carl. In ...


[Ambrosio ]

(b Milan, c1645; d Milan, c1710–15). Italian composer, impresario and singer. Baptized Giovanni Ambrogio Leinati, he is first heard of during the period 1665–7 as a violinist of the royal chapel in Naples, where in 1667 he also sang the comic role of Lesbo in a production of Cavalli’s Scipione africano, whose libretto refers to him as ‘milanese’. The records of the Congregazione di S Cecilia show that by 1668 he was in Rome, where he participated in several Roman oratorio productions and festivities in churches such as S Luigi dei Francesi, S Francesco, S Marcello, S Giovanni dei Fiorentini and S Giacomo degli Spagnoli. At least from 1673 he also served the expatriate Queen Christina of Sweden as leader of her string orchestra. At this time he acquired the sobriquet ‘Il gobbo della regina’ (‘the queen’s hunchback’), by which he became widely known. In 1673...


(b Tivoli, 1595–7; d Parma, before Sept 27, 1667). Italian composer, singer, impresario and poet. Together with Benedetto Ferrari he was instrumental in establishing the tradition of public opera at Venice.

Manelli began his musical career about 1605 as a chorister at Tivoli Cathedral, where he was later employed as a cantore ordinario from 1609 until February 1624. His father then sent him to Rome to pursue an ecclesiastical career; instead he married a Roman singer, Maddalena, and returned to Tivoli, where he worked as choirmaster of the cathedral from 1627 until the end of January 1629. Between 1629 and 1630 he and his wife were again living in Rome, where they lodged at the house of his teacher, Stefano Landi. From 18 May 1630 to before September 1631 Manelli was choirmaster of the Arciconfraternita di S Maria della Consolazione there. It is not known how long the Manellis stayed in Rome, but Maddalena’s presence there was noted in a letter, dated ...


Ellen Rosand

revised by Herbert Seifert

(b Bergamo?, c 1620-25; d Vienna, March 1, 1698). Italian librettist, impresario and poet , later active in Austria. His prodigious career as a librettist, attested by an extant output of over 200 works, began in 1650 with Orimonte, set to music by Cavalli, and continued until the year of his death. His activity fell into two distinct periods: the Venetian years, from 1650 to 1669, and the longer Viennese period, from then until his death. His first publication was a translation of Eruditioni per il cortigiano (Venice, 1645) by an anonymous Flemish author. In Venice, where he received legal training during the 1640s, he was a member of the Accademia degli Imperfetti, formed in 1649 and dedicated to the study of jurisprudence, history and the classics (the librettists Giacomo dall’Angelo, Aurelio Aureli and G.F. Busenello also belonged to the group). Minato was also a member of the older Accademia dei Discordanti; poems by him were printed in publications of these institutions (...


(b north of Dundee, Angus, Nov 1600; d London, Sept 4, 1676). Scottish dancing-master, theatrical impresario, writer, publisher and possibly composer , active partly in Ireland. A man of extraordinary versatility who was adept at attracting influential patronage, he successfully survived many misfortunes. His career began as a dancer at the court of Charles I. After a fall during a court masque in 1621 he was forced to give up dancing and became a dancing master and choreographer. About 1633 he accompanied the Duke of Wentworth (later the Earl of Strafford) to Dublin. He is important in the history of music in Ireland as the first holder there of the title of Master of the Revels, a position created for him by the Earl as Lord Deputy on 28 February 1638. In this capacity he erected in Werburgh Street, close to Dublin Castle, the first theatre to be built in the British Isles outside London. On the outbreak of the Civil War in ...


McDonald Emslie

( b Feb 23, 1633; d London, May 26, 1703). English naval administrator, diarist (1660–69) and gentleman-amateur composer and performer on the viol, theorbo, flageolet, recorder and guitar . He had a good ear, sang at sight, received singing lessons and practised the trillo (a vocal ornament that John Playford’s Introduction of 1654 had made available in England); and in 1662 he attempted composition under John Birchensha’s instruction. He usually employed friends to provide or help him with accompaniments to the vocal parts that he wrote (e.g. Beauty retire and It is decreed); there is no evidence that he could write in tablature himself. He tried to study musical theory in 1667–8 from Morley’s Plaine and Easie Introduction (1597), Playford’s Introduction and other works, learnt the gamut and bought a spinet. He came to possess Kircher’s Musurgia, Mersenne’s Harmonie universelle, Birchensha’s Templum musicum and Descartes’ ...


Dorothea Schröder

(b Querfurt; d Kulmbach, bur. April 14, 1676). German composer and administrator. In 1626 Margrave Christian of Brandenburg-Kulmbach, residing at Bayreuth, engaged him as a personal servant and musician. Nothing is known about his duties at a time when musical life was oppressed by the Thirty Years War. After 20 years at court Sartorius was installed in 1646 as official (later steward) with special appointment for musical matters at the secularized monastery at Himmelkron, near Bayreuth. He lived there until 1671 at the latest; again, there are no documents relating to his activities.

In 1655 Sartorius wrote the funeral music for Margrave Christian; it was scored for five voices and instruments and published as Fürstlicher Ruhm- und Leich-Text (Bayreuth, 1655). The new margrave, Georg Albrecht, and his son Christian Ernst were the dedicatees of a set of sacred concertos for a similar combination of voices and instruments, ...


José Quitin

(b c1620; d Liège, Oct 11, 1684). Flemish musician . He was appointed second succentor at Liège Cathedral on 24 November 1664 and at the same time received a benefice which was replaced by a more important one on 7 December 1668. He was to be responsible for the musical instruction of the duodeni. In November 1669 he and the first succentor were involved in a lawsuit against Lambert Pietkin. The cathedral canons admonished Thorette again and again for negligence, and since he did not improve they dismissed him from his post as succentor on 8 April 1672. But he retained his benefice and probably remained as a singer until his death. Auda was mistaken in stating that he was made a canon of Ste Materne. There is a short Chasse de St Hubert by him ( B-Lc ) for two violins, two cornetts (or flutes), two corni da caccia, bassoon and continuo (this last replaced in a 19th-century copy by two clarinets). It is based on brief fanfare motifs; the use of alternating sonorities would be pleasing if the piece were not unremittingly in G major. (...


Clyde William Young

revised by Édith Weber

(b Strasbourg, April 17, 1568; d Strasbourg, April 26, 1648). Alsatian teacher, composer and choral director. His father, also named Christoph Thomas (1542–92), left Nuremberg around 1566 and settled in Strasbourg, taking up a teaching post at the parish school of Jung St Peter. His mother, Margarethe Offner, was the daughter of the pastor there. Walliser attended the Schola Argentinensis where he followed the methods of Jean Sturm in his classical and humanist studies, until his father moved to Heilbronn in 1584. From that time he studied music, science and the liberal arts while travelling in Bohemia, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland and several places in Germany. Melchior Vulpius of Speyer and Tobias Kindler of Zittau were among his teachers. In 1595 he was awarded a scholarship by the authorities in Strasbourg which enabled him to travel to Italy, where, in Bologna, he became a student and assistant of Aldrovandus, a natural scientist....