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Antonio Vivaldi is an Industrial Era Great Musician in Civilization VI.

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Four Seasons: Winter

La Notte Concerto

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Ordained as a priest in 1703 AD, Antonio Lucio Vivaldi choose to follow his passion for music rather than for God. Born March 1678 in Venice, he became a virtuoso violinist, respected teacher, and prolific composer. The son of a professional violinist and music instructor, it seemed fated that Antonio would eventually be recognized as the greatest Baroque composer, creating hundreds of masterful works.

Although he remained a priest – indeed, he was known as the “Red Priest” during his lifetime (and a bit beyond) – health problems prevented him from carrying out priestly duties like delivering the Mass. Instead, at the age of 25 he was named the music master at the 'Ospedale della Pietá' (an orphanage, the “Devout Hospital of Mercy”), instructing the boys in all sorts of instruments. There for the next 30 years, Vivaldi would compose his major works – choral music, concertos, cantatas, and operas (about 50 remain extant). The most talented of his students were organized into an orchestra to perform his compositions; by 1716, it had gained international recognition.

Although honored with a knighthood by Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI, Vivaldi’s renown didn’t translate into money, so in 1730 he departed Venice for Vienna and Prague. Perhaps he hoped to find a wealthy patron, but the sudden death of Charles VI left him bereft. Despite a few commissions, he died a pauper in Vienna in 1741. He was buried in a simple grave, following a poorly-attended funeral service without music.

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