Agostino Steffani


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(b Castelfranco, Veneto, 25 July 1654; d Frankfurt, 12 Feb. 1728). Italian composer. Born of poor parents, he was educated at Padua; when he was 13 his voice earned him a position with Elector Ferdinand Maria of Bavaria, who took him back to Munich. There Steffani was placed in the custody of Kerll, the court Kapellmeister, and provided with a thorough musical training. In 1672 he went to Rome to study with Ercole Bernabei, who became Kapellmeister to the Munich court in 1674, taking the younger man with him. Steffani was appointed court organist and in 1680 was ordained priest, but his main occupation in those years was the composition of operas, in a style that shows the influence of Legrenzi and other Venetians. In 1688 he was disappointed in his expectation of succeeding Bernabei (whose son was appointed) and left Munich for Hanover, where he was Kapellmeister to the newly opened Italian opera theatre.


From The Oxford Companion to Music in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music.

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