Life of Giovanni Gabrieli

Giovanni Gabrieli was an Italian composer and organist. It is believed he studied under his uncle, Andrea Gabrieli, who was trained by Adrian Willaert. In 1585, Gabrieli became principal organist at Basilica San Marco, and was also appointed principal composer after his uncle’s death. He was also appointed organist at Scuola Grande di San Rocco. He held all three positions until his death.   Basilica San Marco had a long tradition of musical excellence and Gabrieli’s work there made him one of the most noted composers in Europe. His influential Sacrae symphoniae attracted composers from all over Europe, specifically Germany, to study in Venice. This influx of German pupils helped transport Gabrieli’s music north to Germany, leading to the production of German Baroque that is well-known today. Gabrieli’s most famous musical innovations include the use of dynamics, echoing musical lines, and precise directions for instrumentation, which expanded upon Willaert’s polychoral style. He carefully specified groups of instruments and singers in seemingly odd positions around San Marco so that each could be heard with perfect clarity and in perfect balance. Source: Image source: (public domain)     

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1554 to 1612