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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
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Composer
    (1525-February 2, 1594)
    Birth name was Giovanni Pierluigi
    Specialized in polyphonic (multi-voiced) music
    Wrote motets, masses and madrigals
    He used the name of his hometown rather than his family name.
    He married a widow for her money.
    He was fired from a singing job for having a bad voice.
    After this happened, he had a nervous breakdown and stayed in bed for weeks.
    He became a religious nut.
    At the end of his life, he disowned all the non-religious music he had written.
    There is a story that the Pope decided not to ban church music after hearing one of his pieces, but it is untrue.
    He was the first Italian composer to set the Catholic Mass to music.
    His wife, brother and multiple sons died of plague.
    His one surviving son did nothing but leech money off him.
    He was incredibly famous in his time.
    Some consider him the greatest composer of the Renaissance.
    J. S. Bach was a huge fan.
    His music is still performed today.

Credit: Wieland Kalligaro


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