Artist of the Week
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
An Italian born composer, teacher, violinist and clergyman, Antonio Vivaldi is one of the legendary musical giants of the Baroque Era. Vivaldi was born in Venice in 1678 and was taught to play the violin at an early age. As a child he was afflicted by chronic “tightness of the chest,” which has thought to have been a form of asthma. At the age of 15 he began studying for the priesthood, and was an ordained minister at the age of 25. His time as a priest was short lived due to his health. Allegedly, he was said to at times, momentarily leave the alter during a mass to write down a musical idea.
In 1703, Vivaldi became the master of violin at one of the orphanages in Venice. Vivaldi wrote many of his famous works at this time, and helped gain a new appreciation for the musical abilities of the children in the orphanage. The publication in Amsterdam of one of Vivaldi’s works, which was dedicated to Prince Ferdinand of Tuscany, gave him a major breakthrough in Europe.
As was common for musicians during the Baroque Era, Vivaldi made his living as a teacher, a court musician and composing works that were commissioned by nobleman and other elite members of society. In 1722, he moved to Rome and was invited to play for Pope Benedict XIII. Upon his return to Venice, Vivaldi wrote his highly celebrated Four Seasons. In 1728, Vivaldi met the Emperor, Charles VI. Charles was said to have spoken with Vivaldi in that one meeting more than he had spoken with his own ministers in the previous two years. Charles gave Vivaldi the title of a knight and invited him to Vienna.
Unfortunately as Vivaldi’s career came to a close he found himself in financial hardship. Vivaldi chose to leave Venice, (the reason is not entirely clear why he chose to depart) but soon after, poor health took its toll on him and he died in the night of July 27/28 on 1741 at the age of 63.
Vivaldi’s music is still taught and appreciated today. In his own time, he was widely acclaimed and celebrated throughout Europe. His compositional style even influenced J.S. Bach, one of colossal giants in music history.
“There are no words, it’s only music there.” – Antonio Vivaldi
Monday: 9:30am – 5:30pm
Tuesday: 9:30am – 5:30pm
Wednesday: 9:30am – 5:30pm
Thursday: 9:30am – 8:00pm
Friday: 9:30am – 5:30pm
Saturday: 10:00am – 5:00pm