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Antonio Vivaldi

A Minute with Miles
Mary Noble Ours
/
SC Public Radio

Antonio Vivaldi’s life story could easily be the subject of a novel.  Vivaldi was born in Venice in 1678 and at the age of 25 he was ordained as a priest.

Early on, though, he gave up his religious duties for music, and he then became perhaps the most celebrated violin virtuoso and composer in all of Europe, with a rather colorful lifestyle that included directing the musical activities at an institute for orphaned girls, and traveling all over the continent with his mistress. The colorful lifestyle eventually got him into trouble with religious authorities, and… to make a very long story very short… he wound up with no job, no money, and in Vienna of all places, where he died, and where he was buried in a pauper’s grave. But his music, especially his hundreds of concertos, lived on, and influenced many of the great instrumental composers who followed him, in particular Johann Sebastian Bach, who made his own keyboard versions of a number of the Vivaldi string concertos.

A Minute with Miles is a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.

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Miles Hoffman is the founder and violist of the American Chamber Players, with whom he regularly tours the United States, and the Virginia I. Norman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chamber Music at the Schwob School of Music, in Columbus, Georgia. He has appeared as viola soloist with orchestras across the country, and his solo performances on YouTube have received well over 700,000 views.