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Emilio de Cavalieri

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About the composer Emilio de Cavalieri

Emilio de' Cavalieri (ca. 1550-March 11, 1602) was an Italian composer, producer, organist, diplomat, choreographer and dancer at the end of the Renaissance era. His work, along with that of other composers active in Rome, Florence and Venice, was critical in defining the beginning of the musical Baroque era. A member of the Roman School of composers, he was an influential early composer of monody, and wrote what is usually considered to be the first oratorio.
Cavalieri was born in Rome of an aristocratic and musical family. He was the son of Tommaso de' Cavalieri (ca. 1509-1587), the close friend of Michelangelo. He probably received his early training there, and was working as an organist and music director in the period from 1578 to 1584. He spent much of his time in Rome as an organiser of Lenten oratorios. While in Rome he became associated with Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici.
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