Andrea Gabrieli (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: Gabrieli was one of the most versatile musicians of his generation. His compositional output includes sacred vocal music, secular vocal music, instrumental ensemble music, and organ music.
Very little is known about Andrea Gabrieli’s early life. He was probably born in the northern (or Canareggio) section of Venice. Although most biographers have stated that he was born around 1510, the lack of available information on Gabrieli until the 1550’s suggests a birth date of around 1520. It is possible that he may have received some early training from the organist at San Geremia in Canareggio (Baldassare da Imola), and that he may have been a singer at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice in 1536, although there is no documentation to prove either of these assumptions. Nor is there evidence to suggest that he was a pupil of Adrian Willaert, the chapel master of St. Mark’s at that time.
Since Gabrieli’s first published composition appears in a 1554 collection of madrigals by Vincenzo Ruffo, it is possible that he may have been a musician at the Verona cathedral, where Ruffo worked during the 1550’s. The first indication of Gabrieli’s activities as a church organist dates from 1557-1558, when he was organist at San Geremia. Although he competed unsuccessfully for the position of second organist at St. Mark’s Cathedral in 1557, he must have already been an accomplished...
(The entire section is 2035 words.)
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