|Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (March 4, 1678, Venice – July 28 (or 27), 1741, Vienna), nicknamed Il Prete Rosso ("The Red Priest"), was an Italian priest and baroque music composer, as well as a famous violinist.
Vivaldi remained unknown for his published concerti, and largely ignored, even after the resurgence of interest in Bach, pioneered by Mendelssohn. The resurrection of Vivaldi's unpublished works in the 20th century is mostly thanks to the efforts of Alfredo Casella, who in 1939, organised the now historic Vivaldi Week, in which the rediscovered Gloria in excelsis (RV 589) was first heard again. Following World war II Vivaldi's compositions have enjoyed almost universal success, and the advent of historically informed performances has all but catapulted him to stardom once again. In 1947, the Venetian businessman, Antonio Fanna, founded the Istituto Italiano Antonio Vivaldi, with the composer, Gian Francesco Malipiero, as its artistic director, with the purpose of promoting Vivaldi's music and putting out new editions of his works.
Three films about Antonio Vivaldi are in production as of 2005. One of them, with the working title Vivaldi, will be directed by Catherine Hardwicke for Emagine Entertainment, while the second could have Ashley MacIsaac in the title role. A third, made by French/Italian producers with Stefano Dionisi as Vivaldi and Michel Serrault in the main roles was completed in 2005.
Vivaldi's music, together with Mozart's, Tchaikovsky's and Corelli's, has been included in the theories of Alfred Tomatis on the effects of music on human behaviour, and used in music therapy.
He was a prolific composer and is best known for composing:
Over 500 Concertos; approximately 350 of these are for solo instrument and strings, and of these about 230 are for violin; the others are for bassoon, cello, oboe, flute, viola d'amore, recorder, and mandolin. Approximately 40 concertos are for two instruments and strings, and approximately 30 for three or more instruments and strings.
chamber music (even if some sonatas for flute, as Il Pastor Fido, have been erroneously attributed to him, but were composed by Chédeville).
sacred music ("oratorio" Juditha Triumphans, written for Pietà, two Glorias, the Stabat Mater, the Nisi Dominus, the Beatus Vir, the Magnificat, the Dixit Dominus and others).
His most famous work is perhaps 1723's Le Quattro Stagioni (The Four Seasons). In essence, it resembled an early example of a tone poem, where he attempted to capture all the moods of the four seasons without the use of percussion to dramatize the effects he sought to portray.