Jacobus Vaet

  • Born
    c. 1529
  • Died
    8th January 1567
  • Birthplace
    Belgium?
Jacobus Vaet was a Flemish composer of the Renaissance. He was a representative of the generation between Josquin and Palestrina, writing smooth polyphony with pervasive imitation, and he was a friend both of Clemens non Papa and Lassus. e was born in either Kortrijk or Harelbeke, but about when and where he was born is for now not yet fully determined. From his "Modulationes" (1562) he calls himself "Flemish" but later he says that he is "Belgian", so at least we can say he is from the Netherlands. His first appearance in the historical record is from Kortrijk, where he was admitted in 1543, at age 13, as a singer to the church of Onze Lieve. In 1547 he was enrolled at the University of Leuven, and by 1550 he was in the court of Charles V, where he was listed as tenor in the chapel choir. He may have been recruited for the choir by Pieter Maessens who had been magister cantus at Notre Dame in Courtrai when Vaet was a boy. He became Kapellmeister to Maximilian II in 1554, and held that post for the rest of his life. Evidently Maximilian was fond of his Kapellmeister, and mourned him both in his diary, and by having elegies written for him by other prominent composers in his circle.

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