31st October 1291
9th June 1361
Philippe de Vitry was a French composer, music theorist and poet. He was an accomplished, innovative, and influential composer, and may also have been the author of the Ars Nova treatise. He was widely acknowledged as the greatest musician of his day, with Petrarch writing a glowing tribute, calling him: "...the keenest and most ardent seeker of truth, so great a philosopher of our age." Details of his early life are vague. While some medieval sources claim that he was born in the Champagne region, more recent research indicates that he may have originated in Vitry-en-Artois near Arras. Given that he is often referred to in documents as "Magister," he is thought likely to have studied at the University of Paris.