Composer Study is simple. Pick a composer to listen to over a period of time. Every once in a while, play a composition by him. Listen to it. Think and talk about it. This month, we are listening to compositions by Antonio Vivaldi, who composed for clavichords, choirs, and orchestras across Europe.
Antonio Vivaldi, an Italian, was born on March 4, 1678, with a shock of red hair. His father was a barber (or maybe a baker… sources vary) but, more importantly, he was also a professional violinist. He ignited Antonio’s love of music and of the violin. Vivaldi had several other teachers as well. By the time he was fifteen, he was studying for the priesthood. He was ordained ten years later, but he had to leave the church after a year because he was constantly short of breath. In 1693 he became the master of violin at an orphanage where he taught music to girls and composed many pieces. In 1709, he was fired, but in a year, he was hired again and in 1713, he was promoted to the head of the music department.
Vivaldi continued to write concertos for all different instruments. He also wrote several operas as well as chorales. Eventually, he moved to other parts of Europe, but he didn’t stop composing. After his death, his music was all but forgotten. After World War 2, he was rediscovered by Europeans. His Four Seasons, written in 1716, remains a popular piece from the Baroque Era, even 300 years later. I bet you’ve heard this joyful piece before, and if you haven’t we have a link for you.
Pieces by Composer:
- Classics for Kids: Antonio Vivaldi Landing Page
- Academic Kids on Vivaldi (source text for bibliography):
- Antonio Vivaldi, the Red Priest of Venice by Karl Heller
- Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by Anna Harwell Celenza
- I, Vivaldi by Janice Shefelman
- The Story Orchestra: Four Seasons in One Day by Jessica Courtney-Tickle
Photo of Composer: By Unidentified painter – (Old image: Taken from the en.wikipedia), Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10678