Happy Birthday, Vivaldi!


Antonio Vivaldi was born on March 4, 1678 in Venice, Italy. Antonio's father, Giovanni Battista, who was a barber before becoming a violinist, taught young Antonio to play the violin and then took him on tours around  Venice playing the violin with him.

At the age of 15, Antonio began training to become a priest. At the age of 25, he was ordained a priest and soon after became known as the II Prete Rosso, "The Red Priest", because of his red hair. Due to his health, he left the priesthood in 1703 after only 3 years. But he was still able to pursue a career in music.

Vivaldi's music was very popular because of its joyful, almost playful, characteristics.  It reveals his own joy of composing.   One of listeners favorites is The Four Seasons, composed in 1723, is a set of four concertos for violin. It is his most popular work and is among the most popular works of the Baroque Era. For this composition he wrote sonnets to match each season.   Here it is heard with Itzhak Perlman playing the violin solo part. 

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