antonio vivaldi

             Antonio Vivaldi was born in Venice on March 4th, 1678 to Giovanni Vattista Vivaldi and his wife Camilla Calicchio. Giovanni Vivaldi was originally a barber but, like his infamous son, was intensely in love with the violin and started serving both as a violin teacher at a school and as a part of the St. Mark Basilica orchestra (Antonio Vivaldi). The first born of nine children, Antonio Vivaldi was born so feeble and sickly that the midwife, fearing his death, had him baptized immediately (Vivaldi, Antonio, 407). Vivaldi's musical talents appeared early. As a child, Antonio Vivaldi and his father oftentimes preformed together and were even noted as one of Venice's main tourist attractions (Vivaldi Homepage). He was soon allowed to substitute for his father in the church orchestra; therefore, Vivaldi was raised with the great tradition of Venetian music (Vivaldi, Antonio, 407).
             Vivaldi soon began his study of priesthood at the age of 14 or 15; an idea probably pushed on him from his father. It was a common way for a poor family to get a free education for their child. Further, as a member of the clergy one gained respect in the city. Because of his bright red hair inherited from his father, Vivaldi became known as the, "Red Priest." - Ordained on March 23, 1703, the 25 year old Vivaldi took up a position at an all girls orphanage called the Ospedale delle Pieta (the Hospital of Pity). Often misconceived as an orphanage, the school's residents were mostly the illegitimate daughters of Venice's noblemen. Thus, Ospedale was well endowed by the "anonymous fathers," and the school was kept up, the ladies well looked after, and their musical standards were among the highest in Venice (Vivaldi Homepage). Vivaldi served here both as the music teacher and to write two concerti every month for their girl choir to preform. This explains the variety of music Vivaldi wrote for. The girls must have p...

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