Antonio Vivaldi

Born: Venice, March 4, 1678
Died: Vienna, (buried July 28, 1741)

Another Italian composer and virtuoso violinist, Antonio Vivaldi is remembered today for the enormous number of concertos he composed throughout his lifetime. He most likely learned the violin from his father, himself a violinist at St. Mark’s in Venice. Antonio took holy orders to enter the Catholic Priesthood, and became known as “The Red Priest” due to the color of his hair. He became a teacher in Venice at the Ospedale della Pietà (a school for foundling girls) in 1703, and later became the director of concerts there. His music was extremely popular, and he traveled a great deal over Europe, spreading his fame as a violinist and composer. During the 1730s, however, his popularity began to abate and in 1738 he was dismissed from the Ospedale. Desperate, he eventually settled in Vienna in 1740, hoping to reclaim his fame. He didn’t, and he died there the next year, to be buried in a pauper’s grave.