Antonio Vivaldi

By Kate MacKenzie

One of my favorite composers was an Italian mastermind of the Baroque era, Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741). His beautiful treatment of melodies paired with appeasing Alberti bass and harmonic structure have made him an important figure of music history. Sure, most people fall in love with perhaps his most famous piece, The Four Seasons, but for me it was his Bassoon Concerto in A Minor that started my deep admiration for his music. 

Vivaldi's life story is also quite interesting. He was known throughout Italy for his crazy red hair and his work as the music director at the Ospedale della Pietà, an orphanage for girls in Venice. The orphan musicians attracted concert-goers from all over Europe, including Royalty and other Heads of State. In fact, the musical education these girls received was so sought after, that many wealthy families even paid to have their daughters study with Vivaldi himself along with the orphans. What was even more impressive, Vivaldi wrote many of his compositions for his students. Hundreds of concertos for violin, bassoon, Oboe, trumpet, keyboard, and more were used as test and showcase pieces throughout his entire career. They drew huge crowds and served to empower girls who would otherwise be silenced. 

What is unknown to Vivaldi, is that his pieces still continue to be excellent for students around the world. Students who work on and perform Vivaldi today are continuing a tradition that still has relevance hundreds of years later. What is YOUR favorite Vivaldi piece of music? 


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