Date of Award
Program Notes Open Access
Master of Music (MM)
Dr. Rachel Cornacchio
Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) paved an unconventional path to become a composer. Born in Venice where his father, Giovanni Battista was a violinist at St. Mark’s Basilica, Vivaldi was not trained to be a musician, though it is clear that he studied violin at a young age. Instead, he studied to be a priest, and was ordained in March 1703. In September 1703, Vivaldi was appointed maestro di violino at the Ospedale de Pietá, a Venetian orphanage for girls devoted to musical training and performance. Over the years, he was promoted to successively higher ranks, culminating in his appointment to the position of maestro di capella in 1735. His time at the Ospedale de Pietá was tumultuous. At one point, the institution could not afford to retain him, and at other times Vivaldi took long absences to travel Europe to compose and attend performances of his operas. In 1737, Vivaldi left the priesthood after the Church censured him for inappropriate conduct. In 1738, Vivaldi was terminated from the Ospedale de Pietá. He returned to Vienna, where he died in 1741.
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