Barbara Strozzi

La Virtuosissima Cantatrice

Barbara Strozzi

Born: Venice 1619 —— Died: Padua 1677

“la Virtuosissima Cantatrice - the greatest virtuoso singer

Nicolò Fontei

Born in 1619 in Venice, Barbara Strozzi was hailed as one of the finest singers and most prolific composers of the time, eventually publishing eight collections of songs before her death in 1677 — more music in print than even the most famous composers of her day. As the daughter of renowned poet Giulio Strozzi and a cadet member of one of the most powerful families of Florence, Barbara spent her life in creative circles, mingling with all levels of Italian society.

Her music is daring for a composer of her time and remarkable for many reasons. Perhaps most apparent is the tremendous care that she takes in setting her texts, creating intimate relationships between the words and music, as well as the unusual and often surprising harmony she explores. Her creativity was such a force in fact that she is sometimes credited with the genesis of an entire musical genre — the Cantata.