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Hellmut Federhofer

(b Treviso, c1570; d after 1621). Italian composer. The place and approximate date of his birth can be deduced from the title-page and preface of his first book of five-part madrigals (1595), which he described as ‘my first works’. He was recorded in 1595 and 1596 as Kapellmeister and organist to the Archbishop of Salzburg, and he was chamber organist to the Emperor Rudolf II in Prague from 1 November 1596 until the emperor’s death in 1612. He did not continue as a musician under Rudolf's successor, Matthias, but the imperial court still owed him a large sum of money in 1621.

Apart from the madrigals of 1595 Zanchi’s works have not survived complete, which is probably a major reason why they have not yet been properly studied. The technique of cori spezzati seems to have had a considerable influence on Zanchi; he may have modelled his polychoral writing on that of Jakob Handl, who was active in Prague until ...


Anthony F. Carver

(b Imst, Tyrol, c1560; d Vienna, between 1 and June 21, 1590). Austrian composer. He may have belonged to a Franconian family who moved to Imst from Bamberg in the mid-16th century. He was a choirboy in the Hofkapelle of Archduke Ferdinand I at Innsbruck and probably attended the choir school there (it was founded in about 1569). According to the first of two dedications in his 1590 motet collection, he later went to Venice for further study, presumably when his voice broke. After he returned (in 1577 or 1578) he was in the employ of the Franciscan order until 1580, when he probably entered the service of Johannes Ruoff, abbot of the Cistercian monastery at Zwettl, north-west of Vienna, to whom he dedicated his 1582 book of introits. He was Kantor at the Cistercian monastery of Heiligkreuz from 1585 to 1587, when he entered the Franciscan monastery in Vienna. He later took his vows at this house and died there during the printing of his ...


Rudolf Schnitzler

revised by Thomas D. Walker

(b Vienna, bap. Nov 26, 1653; d Vienna, Oct 13, 1701). Austrian composer and violinist, eldest son of Johann Heinrich Schmelzer. He was trained by his father and became a full member of the Vienna court orchestra on 16 February 1671. After his father’s death in 1680, he assumed the position of official composer of ballet music at court (the decree of appointment is dated 27 February 1681), but ill-health forced him to relinquish it in 1693. He composed some 75 ballet suites (most in A-Wn ) which, however, do not evince the great variety and musical interest of his father’s. He generally reduced the number of movements to three, or even two. Archaic dances such as the trezza, traccanario, folia and moresca are rarely found, whereas the gavotte, saraband, bourrée, minuet, aria and intrada appear regularly. Melodic design and harmonic vocabulary are mannered and stylized. A few sonatas and suites (in ...


Barbara Garvey Jackson

(b ?Rome; fl Vienna, 1707–10). Italian composer. Nothing is known of her life except that ‘Romana’ appears on the title-pages of her manuscripts, indicating Roman origin. She wrote four oratorios for solo voices and orchestra, which were performed in the Vienna court chapel between 1707 and 1710. In style and form they are similar to the oratorios of Alessandro Scarlatti. A cantata also survives. Her first known work, Santa Beatrice d’Este, was commissioned by Emperor Joseph I. She often uses particular instruments for dramatic effect or characterization: trumpets represent the villainous warrior in Santa Beatrice d’Este, the archlute represents the innocence of S Alessio in Sant’Alessio, and chalumeaux, only a year after their first orchestral use in Vienna, represent the peaceful dream of Abramo in Il sacrifizio di Abramo. According to the title-page of the manuscript, Rossi wrote the text as well as the music for Il figliuol prodigo...


Jiří Sehnal

(b? Czernovicium, c1660; d? Prague, before 1725). Czech composer . He attended the Jesuit seminary of St Václav in Prague and then studied philosophy at Prague University, where he took the BA on 20 May 1677. After studying medicine there, he qualified as a doctor on 26 June 1684. His text for a Christmas play appeared in print in January 1684 ( CZ-Pu ; the music is lost), as did the text for his undated cantata Threnodia huius Temporis sive Exul Veritas. Both works are dedicated to the dean of the faculty of medicine, Jan Jakub Václav Dobřenský, a patron of music. Between 1702 and 1705 Vojta was the doctor at the Benedictine monastery in Prague. He was apparently a very good violinist and a skilful composer. There are documentary records, mostly from monastic sources, of some 26 compositions by him, mainly sacred. However, only the following works are known to survive: ...


(b Viadana, nr Parma, c1560; d Gualtieri, nr Parma, May 2, 1627). Italian composer. He ranks highly among composers of his period for the freshness, fluency and notably expressive quality of his music; above all, he gave a strong impulse to the vocal concerto with basso continuo in ecclesiastical music, and acquired many pupils who continued his work.

According to a document dating from the end of the 18th century, he was a member of the Grossi family by birth and took the name Viadana when he entered the order of the Minor Observants some time before 1588. It has been asserted that he was a pupil of Costanzo Porta, but there is no confirmation of this. He was maestro di cappella at Mantua Cathedral from at least January 1594 probably until 1597. At the end of the 16th century he may have been at Padua, for he had connections with that city, and he was also in Rome. In ...


John D. Arnn

revised by Dorothea Schröder

(b Augsburg, 1612; d Vienna, 11 or Feb 12, 1665). German organist and composer, active in Austria. He was appointed organist at the Stephansdom, Vienna, in 1634. Three years later he began a lifelong association with the imperial court in Vienna under Ferdinand III and later Leopold I, assuming first the position of organist of the Kapelle and becoming cathedral Kapellmeister in 1663; he was also official ballet composer.

Little of Ebner’s music is extant, which is regrettable in view of the esteem in which he was held by his contemporaries. Historical evaluations made before much of his music was destroyed in World War II support these appraisals. In 1637 he earned twice the salary of his colleague Froberger, with whom he established the important Viennese keyboard school of the 17th century, noted for its fusion of French, English and German styles. Zachow thought highly enough of Ebner to have the young Handel copy at least one composition into a notebook of ...


Hellmut Federhofer

(b ?Münzbach, 1624; d Vienna, March 18, 1694). Austrian composer, organist, poet and music theorist. He was educated partly in Italy, studying in Siena in 1651. He appears to be identical with the J.J. Preiner who was organist at the abbey church at Kremsmünster, Upper Austria, from 1 July 1652 to 1 September 1659. At the end of 1670 J.H. Schmelzer, praising Prinner as composer, organist and poet, described him as Kapellmeister at the court of Prince Eggenberg at Graz. The latter was dismissing his musicians at the time, so Schmelzer recommended Prinner for the post left vacant by Biber at the court of the Prince-Bishop of Olomouc at Kroměříž, but P.J. Vejvanovský was appointed; since, however, some suites by Prinner, one dated 1676, survive at Kroměříž, he may nevertheless have lived there for a time. The petition he addressed to Emperor Leopold I on 7 November 1680...


Mirosław Perz

revised by Rudolf Walter

(b Görlitz, bap. Aug 25, 1563; d Breslau [now Wrocław], March 27, 1619). German composer. He may have attended the Gymnasium in Görlitz although there is no evidence that he received his musical training from Kantor Winkler. He was a member of the order of Kreuzherren mit dem Roten Stern at Breslau. In 1608 he became prior at the monastery and in 1609, following the death of Johann Henceius, he was elected master. However, the monastery failed to notify the master-general of their decision, and he nullified the election. After a new vote, Elias Bachstein was appointed master and Fritsch was despatched to a monastery in Bohemia for three years. He may have returned to Breslau in autumn 1612. Fritsch was evidently on good terms with Georg Rudolph, Duke of Liegnitz, to whom his motet collections were dedicated. The title ‘Magister’ in the tenor volume of his Novum et insigne opus musicum...


(bap. Danzig [now Gdańsk], May 23, 1586; d Danzig, May 6, 1666). German composer and organist. His father, a procurator (d 1604), had the same name, and this, along with the existence of a number of other persons with the surname of Siefert in Danzig, has led to biographical confusion. Paul Siefert the younger was the son of his father's second marriage. He received a scholarship from Danzig city council to study for three years (1607–10) with Sweelinck in Amsterdam, together with Samuel Scheidt, after which he returned to Danzig (in late 1610) to become assistant organist at the Marienkirche. The principal organist of the Marienkirche, Cajus Schmiedtlein, died in March 1611, and Siefert applied for the post, but was rejected, due in part to complaints about his playing style and his arrogance.

Siefert left the city and went to Königsberg. From 1611 to 1616...


G.B. Sharp

revised by Dorothea Schröder

German family of organists and composers.

(d Stuttgart, 7 or Oct 8, 1581). He is first traceable in 1534 in the service of Duke Ulrich of Württemberg in Stuttgart, where he was court and abbey organist. From 1568, when Duke Ludwig became ruler, the court chapel reached its heyday; from 1572, when Steigleder went into semi-retirement, he was assisted by Simon Lohet. His only surviving work is a six-part Veni Sancte Spiritus (ed. in Die Motette, no.457, Stuttgart, 1963), which has affinities with procedures in Hans Buchner’s Fundamentum.

(b Stuttgart, Feb 19, 1561; d Stuttgart, Nov 8, 1633). Son of (1) Utz Steigleder. He studied under Simon Lohet between 1575 and 1578 and at Duke Ludwig of Württemberg’s expense in Rome with unknown teachers from 1580 to 1583. He was successively organist at the abbey church, Stuttgart (from 1583), the Michaeliskirche, Schwäbisch Hall (from ...


William S. May and Frans Wiering


(b Bologna, Sept 3, 1568; d Bologna, 1634). Italian composer, organist,theorist and writer. He was one of the most versatile figures in the Italian music of his day and is of particular interest as a theorist.

Banchieri entered the Olivetan order of Benedictine monks in 1587, officially becoming a novice and receiving the name Adriano in 1589; he completed his solemn vows in 1590. He was a pupil of Gioseffo Guami, under whom he certainly developed much of his skill as an organist and composer. During his first years as a monk he worked at various houses of his order: in 1592 he was at the monastery of SS Bartolomeo e Ponziano, Lucca, in 1593 at S Benedetto, Siena; in 1594 he returned to the vicinity of Bologna to the monastery of S Michele in Bosco, where in 1596 he assumed the duties of organist. From 1600 to 1604...


Jerome Roche

revised by Steven Saunders

(b Venice, c1575; d Neunkirchen, Austria, 1626). Italian composer and organist. He frequently played alongside or substituted for Giovanni Gabrieli, whose pupil he may have been. He was engaged to play at S Marco in 1600, 1602 and 1605, and in May 1607 he was appointed supplementary organist. He played the organ at the Scuola di S Rocco in 1609, and in 1612, four days after Gabrieli's death, he organized the music-making for the feast of the confraternity's patron saint, a task that Gabrieli had frequently performed. In 1614 or 1615 Priuli became Hofkapellmeister to Archduke Ferdinand at Graz and continued to serve him in the same capacity in Vienna when he was elected Holy Roman Emperor in 1619. In 1626 Priuli was succeeded by Giovanni Valentini.

Priuli's output is divided equally between sacred and secular music: he published five volumes of each. His madrigals show the move from the customary five-part texture to a concertato style characteristic of the period; ...


[Carolus, Charles, Karl]

(b Antwerp, 1557/8; d Prague, Aug 1620). Flemish composer and organist. He spent nearly all his life in the service of the Habsburg imperial chapel in Vienna and Prague. In 1566 he was recruited as a chorister for the court of the Emperor Maximilian II in Vienna; his music teachers there may have been Jacobus Vaet, Alard du Gaucquier and Philippe de Monte, while he must have studied the organ either with the first court organist Wilhelmus Formellis or with one of the sub-organists, Wilhelm von Mülin or Paul van Winde.

On leaving the chapel on 30 July 1571 after his voice changed, Luython was given the usual honorarium of 50 guilders. He travelled to Italy to work and further his education, as had other imperial court singers such as Jacob Regnart. On 18 May 1576 he returned to the employ of the imperial court as a ‘chamber musician’ (probably as organist rather than singer) with a salary of 10 guilders a month. He was one of the first members of the newly founded ...


Zofia Chechlińska

(b Warsaw, c1780; d Piotrków Trybunalski, Dec 26, 1838). Polish composer and pianist, son of Wincenty Ferdynand Lessel. He studied first with his father and at the end of 1799 went to Vienna, where he studied with Haydn. They apparently became close friends and Lessel remained in Vienna until Haydn's death in 1809. Lessel gave at least one concert in Vienna, and some of his compositions were well received there. During his stay in Vienna he made four return visits to Poland, each lasting several months: he gave concerts in Kraków and was also a court musician at Prince Lubomirski's castle at Łańcut. After his return to Poland in 1809 he settled in Warsaw, where he gave concerts of his own music and was for some time musical director of the Amateur Music Society. In the early 1820s, as a result of a personal tragedy, he withdrew from active musical life and undertook non-musical work, including (from ...


Catherine Moore

[Michel Angelo del Violino]

(b Genoa, 1601/2; d Rome, bur. July 7, 1656). Italian composer, violinist and organist.

There are large gaps in our knowledge of Rossi's life, and the fact that two, if not three, contemporary Italian violinists (including Rossi himself) were known as Michelangelo (or Michelagnolo) del Violino calls into question some previously accepted information. It can be assumed that Rossi received his earliest musical training in Genoa, where he was assistant organist to his uncle Lelio, a Servite brother, at the cathedral of S Lorenzo. He may also have studied with Simone Molinaro, who published Gesualdo's madrigals in 1613.

Rossi's three known periods in Rome are the most unequivocally documented and also most relevant to his musical output. In the first, 1624–9, he was in the service of Cardinal Maurizio of Savoy, principally in Rome but also in Turin, where he performed in February 1628 or 1629...


Piotr Poźniak

(b ?Serravalle, nr Treviso, 1560–65; d after 1607 or 1618). Italian composer and lutenist, active in Poland. He was often referred to simply as ‘Diomedes’. His father Costantino, who was a Protestant, was a teacher in Serravalle in about 1562; he left in about 1565 to escape the Inquisition, and settled in Kraków. His wife followed soon afterwards with their three children, of whom Diomedes was the youngest. His employment as a lutenist at the court of King Sigismund III of Poland is documented from 20 March 1588 until August 1593 and again in about 1602. In 1593–4 he probably accompanied the king on a journey to Sweden, where, according to Norlind, he was among the best-known foreign composers by 1600. A manuscript chronicle of 1623 reports that, together with Antonio Fulvio, he wrote music for the wedding celebrations of Jan Kostka, which took place at the castle of Świecie (nr Toruń) in ...


[Claudio da Correggio]

(b Correggio, April 8, 1533; d Parma, May 4, 1604). Italian composer and publisher. He was the most gifted of a group of performer-composers who transformed European keyboard genres from simple pieces based on vocal models to idiomatic virtuoso works during the second half of the 16th century; also a prolific composer of madrigals, masses and motets in the mature Venetian style.

Merulo is the twice-modified surname of the Italian composer and organist born Claudio Merlotti. His name appeared as Claudius Merulus in some publications, but he often called himself Claudio da Correggio or simply Claudio Merulo, using an Italianized form of the Latin surname. His mother, Giovanna Govi, was from Brescia. Little is known of his childhood, but it is assumed that he began his earliest musical training in his native town, possibly with Tuttovale Menon or Girolamo Donato, and that as an adolescent he may have gone to Venice for further study with a master such as Adrian Willaert or Gioseffo Zarlino. On ...


Susan Wollenberg

(b Mégève, Savoy, bap. June 1, 1653; d Passau, Feb 23, 1704). German composer and organist of French birth, father of Gottlieb Muffat. He considered himself a German, although his ancestors were Scottish and his family had settled in Savoy in the early 17th century. He was a prominent composer of instrumental music who was particularly important for the part he played in introducing the French and Italian styles into Germany.

Muffat went as a boy to Alsace, then to Paris to study with Lully and others from 1663 to 1669. He returned to Alsace to become a student, first at the Jesuit college at Séléstat in 1669, then in 1671 at a similar institution at Molsheim, where he was appointed organist to the exiled Strasbourg Cathedral chapter. By 1674 he was in Ingolstadt, Bavaria, and matriculated as a law student. He had left Alsace when war was imminent, and in the autobiographical foreword to his ...


Herbert Seifert

(b Florence, July 15, 1638; d ?Pistoia, after 1692). Italian composer and violinist. He was a violinist at the court at Innsbruck at least between 1656 and 1660. From 1672 to 1676 he was director of the court music at Innsbruck, which, after the extinction of the Tyrolean Habsburgs, had come under the control of the emperor. In publications of 1678 he still described himself as holding this position. But during the opera season in Venice from 1677 to 1678 his arrangement of Cavalli’s Scipione affricano and his own opera Astiage were performed, which suggests that he must have been there, and in 1678 at the Oratorio di S Marcello in Rome he directed an oratorio in which Corelli and Pasquini participated. He was probably elevated to the nobility in the same year, since he subsequently designated himself ‘Nobile del Sacro Romano Imperio’. Between 1678 and 1679 and ...