Vivaldi’s Family Background:
Vivaldi’s father, Giovanni Battista Vivaldi, was born in 1655. Eleven years later, after the death of his father, he moved to Venice with his mother. He worked as a barber before becoming a professional violinist. In 1676, he married Camilla Calicchio. Vivaldi was born in two years later. He was the oldest of nine children.
Childhood – Teenage Years:
Vivaldi was taught how to play violin at a young age by his father. Together, they toured Venice playing the violin; similar to Mozart and his father. In 1693, Vivaldi entered into priesthood at the local churches of S Geminiano and S Giovanni in Oleo, while living with his parents in the parish of S Martino. In late 1706, Vivaldi withdrew from the priesthood, claiming that it was because of his asthma. Others suspect that his musical aspirations and interests lead him to withdrawal.
Early Adult Years:
In 1703, Vivaldi became maestro di violino at the Pio Ospedale della Pietà, a home for orphaned, abandoned, and indigent children. The Pietà specialized in the teaching of music to girls who showed aptitude; comparable to modern day musical therapy. Many concerts were held and many nobles attended them. Vivaldi was in charge of teaching the music, the upkeep of instruments, and acquiring new ones. In 1709, he was let go for economic reasons, but in 1711, he was offered the job again.
Mid Adult Years:
Vivaldi was promoted to maestro de’ concertiin 1716. It was during these years that Vivaldi wrote much of his music, including many operas and concertos. In 1718, Vivaldi began to travel. Despite his frequent travels, the Pietà paid him to write two concerto’s a month for the orchestra and to rehearse with the at least four times when in Venice. The Pietà’s records show that he was paid for 140 concertos between 1723 and 1729.
Late Adult Years:
Vivaldi continued to lead a busy life. He traveled extensively, worked on again off again for the Pietà, and composed for many different people. Vivaldi died on July 28, 1741, while on a trip Vienna, and was given a pauper’s burial.