GIROLAMO FRESCOBALDI (1583-1644), Italian musical composer, was born in 1583 at Ferrara. Little is known of his life except that he studied music under Alessandro Milleville, and owed his first reputation to his beautiful voice. He was organist at St Peter's in Rome from 1608 to 1628. According to Baini no less than 30,000 people flocked to St Peter's on his first appearance there. On the 20th of November 1628 he went to live in Florence, becoming organist to the duke. From December 1633 to March 1643 he was again organist at St Peter's. But in the last year of his life he was organist in the parish church of San Lorenzo in Monte. He died on the 2nd of March 1644, being buried at Rome in the Church of the Twelve Apostles. Frescobaldi also excelled as a teacher, Frohberger being the most distinguished of his pupils. Frescobaldi's compositions show the consummate art of the early Italian school, and his works for the organ more especially are full of the finest devices of fugal treatment. He also wrote numerous vocal compositions, such as canzone, motets, hymns, &c., a collection of madrigals for five voices (Antwerp, 1608) being among the earliest of his published works.
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