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Claudio Monteverdi

May 15, 1567 – November 29, 1643

Renaissance Period

Born in Italy

Claudio Monteverdi was born in northern Italy and it was quickly realized that the young composer was a child prodigy. He wrote only for the voice and became known for his sacred music, madrigals, and opera. His ability to use expression in his music was unmatched during his day.

In his early twenties, Monteverdi entered the service of the Duke of Mantua. After a few years, he was made master of music in the ducal chapel. While in the service of the Duke of Mantua, Monteverdi wrote his first opera, L’Orfeo (1607). In it, he used an expanded instrumental ensemble and included various duets and dances to help reflect the drama.

In 1613, Monteverdi became choirmaster at St. Mark’s in Venice, which was an impressive position at the time. He spent the remainder of his life there.