Antonio Vivaldi was born on 4 March, 1678, precisely 339 years ago today. He has always been one of my favourite composers. Like just about any Baroque music fancier alive, I never tire of The Four Seasons.
The great man was born in Venice, the day after an earthquake. He was sickly as a child. It’s possible that he was asthmatic. Given both a musical and a religious education, he became a violin virtuoso and an ordained priest. By age 24, he was engaged to teach and compose for the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice, an institution for foundlings and other impoverished children. The orchestra there was made up entirely of girls. It was for them that he wrote most of his early compositions, including the The Four Seasons (1725).