Composer, Organist. Arguably the most important keyboard musician of the early 17th Century. His style marked the transition from the Renaissance to the Baroque periods of Western music. Girolamo Alessandro Frescobaldi was born in Ferrara, Italy. A child prodigy, he was named organist of a local church at age 14 and was later brought to Rome by a wealthy patron to study at the Academy of Saint Cecilia. In 1608 he was elected organist of the Capella Giulia at St. Peter's. The position paid poorly and he took several leaves of absence, at one time spending six years (1628 to 1634) serving the Medici family in Florence, but he always returned to Rome. He was senior organist of St. Peter's when he died at 59. Most of Frescobaldi's music, over 200 works, was published during his lifetime, spreading his fame throughout Europe. The "Fiori musicali" (1635), a collection of organ pieces to be performed during Mass, is the culmination of his output, synthesizing Renaissance techniques with a forward-looking expressiveness. His experiments with tempo were particularly daring for their time. Through his greatest pupil, Johann Jakob Froberger, Frescobaldi influenced German Baroque music for nearly a century. Buxtehude and Pachelbel admired him and J.S. Bach treasured his copy of the "Fiori musicali".
Bio by: Bobb Edwards