4th March 1678
28th July 1741
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (nicknamed "The Red Priest" because of his red hair) was an Italian Baroque composer, priest, and virtuoso violinist, born in Venice, and widely recognized as one of the greatest Baroque composers. His influence during his lifetime was widespread over Europe. He is mainly known for his instrumental concertos -especially for the violin- as well as his sacred choral works and over 40 operas. His best known work is a series of violin concertos known as The Four Seasons. Many of his compositions were written for the female music ensemble of the Ospedale della Pietà, a home for abandoned children where Vivaldi worked in the 1703-1715 and 1723-1740 periods. After meeting the Emperor Charles VI, Vivaldi moved to Vienna hoping for preferment. The Emperor died soon after Vivaldi's arrival, and the composer died a without a steady source of income. Though Vivaldi's music was well received during his lifetime, it later declined in popularity until its vigorous revival in the first half of the 20th century.