Antonio Vivaldi Profile

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March 4, 1678 - Venice


July 28, 1741 - Vienna

Antonio Vivaldi Quick Facts:

  • Did you know that there was an earthquake on the day of Antonio Vivaldi’s birth?
  • Antonio Vivaldi battled bronchial asthma throughout his life.
  • Antonio Vivaldi's personality can be compared to the likes of Donald Trump - cocky! He claimed he could compose a concerto in all its parts faster than it could be copied. Many of his claims, however, could not be proved.

Vivaldi's Family Background:

Antonio Vivaldi’s father, Giovanni Battista, was the son of a tailor. He was born in 1655 in Brescia and later moved with his mother to Venice in 1666. Giovanni worked as a barber, but eventually became a professional violinist. Giovanni married Camilla Calicchio, who also happened to be the daughter of a tailor, in 1676. Together they had nine children of whom Antonio Vivaldi was the oldest. In 1685, Giovanni, under the surname of Rossi, became a full-time violinist at St. Mark’s.

Childhood - Teen Years:

Antonio Vivaldi was trained in the priesthood in 1693 and was ordained in 1703. During these years Antonio Vivaldi was taught to play violin by his father. His earliest known performance was in 1696. After Antonio’s ordination, he put an end to saying Mass. Antonio Vivaldi claimed “his chest was too tight” (the asthma), while others believed he quit because he was forced to become a priest. Often, lower class families would send their children into the priesthood because the schooling was free.

Early Adult Years:

Antonio Vivaldi was appointed as the maestro di violino at the Ospedale della Pietà. Throughout the next decade, Antonio Vivaldi held on again/off again positions at the Pietà. Antonio Vivaldi published his first works, the trio sonatas, in 1703, violin sonatas in 1709, and his 12 concertos, L’estro armonico, in 1711. In 1710, Antonio Vivaldi worked with his father in several operatic productions. His first operatic production was Orlando finto pazzo at the theatre of St. Angelo in 1714.

Mid Adult Years:

In 1718, Antonio Vivaldi traveled to Mantua with his new opera, Armida al campo d'Egitto, where he stayed until 1720. He composed sevreal operas, cantatas, and serenatas for the Mantuan court. Antonio Vivaldi was given the title maestro di cappella da camera by the Governor. After leaving Mantua, Vivaldi traveled to Rome where he performed for the Pope and composed and performed new operas. Antonio Vivaldi made a deal with the Pietà and supplied them with 140 concertos between 1723 and 1729.

Late Adult Years:

Antonio Vivaldi’s traveled extensively during the late years of his life. It is believed he loved to watch the opening performances of all his new operas. His prominent operatic vocalist, Anna Girò, was believed to be his mistriss because she appereard in many of his operas between 1723 and 1748. In the last year of his life, Antonio Vivaldi sold several works in Vienna. Antonio Vivaldi died on July 28 in Vienna.

Selected Works by Antonio Vivaldi:


  • Orlando finto pazzo - 1714
  • Orlando furioso - 1714
  • Nerone fatto Cesare - 1715
  • La costanza trionfante de gl’amori e de gl’odii - 1716
  • Arsilda, regina di Ponto - 1716
  • L’incoronazione di Dario - 1717
  • Teuzzone - 1718
  • Tito Manlio - 1719
  • La Candace, o siano Li veri amici - 1720
  • La Silvia - 1721
  • Giustino - 1724