Vivaldi, Antonio (Lucio)
- Michael Talbot
(b Venice, March 4, 1678; d Vienna, 27/July 8, 1741). Italian composer. The most original and influential Italian composer of his generation, he laid the foundations for the mature Baroque concerto. His contributions to musical style, violin technique and the practice of orchestration were substantial, and he was a pioneer of orchestral programme music.
Vivaldi's father Giovanni Battista (1655–1736), a tailor's son, was born in Brescia. He moved with his widowed mother in 1666 to Venice, where he practised as a barber before becoming a professional violinist in early adulthood. Nine children, of whom Antonio was the eldest, are known to have been born to his union with Camilla Calicchio, a tailor's daughter, whom he married in June 1676. None of Antonio's brothers and sisters became musicians, although Francesco (1690–1752) emulated his elder brother's entrepreneurial spirit by adding to his main calling of barber those of paving contractor and publisher. On ...