Cozzolani, Chiara Margarita
- Robert L. Kendrick
(b Milan, Nov 27, 1602; d Milan, 4 May 1676 – 20 April 1678). Italian singer and composer. In many ways, her life epitomizes the destiny of Milanese patrician women, most of whom became nuns in the early 17th century; some two-thirds of the 41 monasteries that housed them were renowned for music until the late 18th-century dissolutions. The youngest daughter of a wealthy merchant family, she entered the Benedictine monastery of S Radegonda. She professed final vows in 1620, taking ‘Chiara’ as her religious name. She is mentioned in documents from S Radegonda in connection with disputes over the regulation of music and may have served as the maestra di cappella of one of the house’s two choirs.
Cozzolani’s first publication (1640) is lost, along with the continuo part to the 1648 solo motets. But enough music remains to mark her as one of the leading composers of mid-century Milan. The duets and solos in the ...