(Originally posted here: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/vivaldi-ten-things-you-need-205317 )
Vivaldi: Ten things you need to know about the Italian composer
Today marks the 332nd anniversary of the birth of groundbreaking baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi, a landmark that Google have marked with a Doodle on their homepage.
Here below are ten pieces of trivia on the musical pioneer.
1. Born the son of a professional violinist in Venice in 1678, he was the oldest of nine children.
2. He battled acute bronchial asthma throughout his life.
3. He trained to be a priest for three years, and was ordained at the age of 25 in 1703. During these years Antonio Vivaldi was taught to play violin by his father. His earliest known performance was in 1696.
4. Following his ordination, he put an end to saying Mass, claiming “his chest was too tight” due to his asthma, although many believed he quit because he was forced to become a priest against his wishes.
5. The composer was given the nickname “Il Prete Rosso” which means “Red Priest”, due to his red hair.
6. During his life, the prolific Vivaldi wrote around 500 concertos, along with a wealth of opera and religious-themed pieces.
7. Composed in 1723, The Four Seasons (Le quattro stagioni), is undoubtedly his most famous piece of work. A set of four violin concertos, each section was composed to resemble its respective season.
8. While something of a musical genius, he was also said to be somewhat cocky. He once claimed he could compose a concerto in all its parts faster than it could be copied.
9. Most of Vivaldi’s music was lost. The majority of what we have of his work today was discovered in the 1920’s, packed away in a trunk.
10. Like Mozart, Vivaldi died in poverty in 1741, and was buried in an unmarked grave.