Personalities | Barbara Strozzi | Early & Middle Baroque | Opera
Venetian-born Barbara Caterina Strozzi, singer and composer, was the daughter of the poet and librettist Giulio Strozzi by one of his servants. Although she was the principal singer at the Accademia degli Unisoni in Perugia, which had been founded by her father in 1634, her most important contribution to music was as one of the principal women composers of the Baroque era. In 1644, Barbara Strozzi composed her Il primo libro de madrigali (‘First Book of Madrigals’), and by 1664 no fewer than 125 songs and other pieces of vocal music by Strozzi had been published. This included eight books of music, containing 100 songs for solo voice. The last of her published works, Arie (‘Melodies’), consisted of six arias, five cantatas and one serenade for soprano. Music for the solo voice dominated the work of Strozzi, although some of her books contain songs with orchestral accompaniment.
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