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    Antonio Vivaldi

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    Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) was born in Venice, Italy in the Baroque period. He was a composer ahead of his time, which is evident from how his music, such as the Four Seasons, is amongst some of the most popular works of classical music today.

    However, we may have never gotten the Four Seasons and other great works had Vivaldi pursued his initial career path. Vivaldi was in training to become a priest, but due to health issues decided to become a musician instead. He enjoyed great success, and was famous enough to be invited to perform his works for the royalty of Europe. The demand for his music was so great that he would compose music so fast that he claimed he could compose even faster than one could copy music. Vivaldi chose the right path for himself, but retained a remnant of it with him – for it is thanks to his old profession and his bright, red hair that he was given the nickname “the Red Priest”.

    Vivaldi was the music director for an orphanage called Pio Ospedale della Pietà or the Devout Hospital of Mercy in Venice. Under his direction, the orphanage gained a reputation around Europe for their formidable orchestra and choir. Vivaldi was known as a technical master of the violin and his students were in the fortunate position to have music composed for them. They would play his compositions of over 200 concertos for solo violin and combinations of two to four violins, as well over 500 more concertos for various instruments.

    Venice, Italy

    Of all his works, it is with the Four Seasons that Vivaldi broke the boundaries of what could be done with classical music. He managed to capture the essence of each season by using techniques on the violin to imitate bird calls, dogs barking, rain, wind, storms and chattering teeth in the cold. Such innovative programmatic music would only be further developed in the 19th Century in the Romantic period, solidifying Vivaldi’s status as a once in a century composer.

    Andrea Sim
    Andrea Sim
    Andrea Sim is the music director and principal conductor of the klpac String Orchestra. A seasoned orchestral violinist, she has led and played solo with numerous orchestras and plays regularly with various chamber groups. Andrea graduated with first class honours on a full scholarship from UCSI University’s Institute of Music with a Bachelor of Classical Music (Hons) degree.
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