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Antonio Vivaldi:
Violin Concertos Through the Ages

Concertos got their start in 17th century Italy. The history of violin concertos follows the history of great violinists.

Music heard in this episode:
Vivaldi: “Autumn” from The Four Seasons
Bach: Violin Concerto in E Major
Haydn: Violin Concerto in C Major
Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto in e minor
Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D Major
Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D Major
Bruch: Violin Concerto #1
O'Connor: Fiddle Concerto
Vivaldi: “Spring” from The Four Seasons

Other shows about Antonio Vivaldi:
About Antonio Vivaldi
Poetry and Sound Effects in Vivaldi's Spring Concerto
Spring Music

Download this month's activity sheet

About Antonio Vivaldi
3/4/1678 - 7/28/1741
Born in Italy

Antonio Vivaldi was born in Venice, Italy, which is where he spent most of his life. His father taught him to play the violin, and the two would often perform together.

Antonio continued to study and practice the violin, even after he became a priest. He was called the "Red Priest" because of his flaming red hair. However, after a while, his bad asthma kept Antonio from saying Mass.

After that, Vivaldi spent all his time writing music and teaching. He taught at an orphanage for girls, and wrote a lot of music for the girls to play. People came from miles around to hear Vivaldi's talented students perform the beautiful music he had written.

Many people think Vivaldi was the best Italian composer of his time. He wrote concertos, operas, church music and many other compositions. In all, Antonio wrote over 500 concertos. His most famous set of concertos is The Four Seasons.

See other composers born in Italy


This Week's Quiz:

1. A concerto is a piece of music in which one or more solo instruments plays with a larger group.



2.Which of the following did Franz Joseph Haydn NOT do?

conduct an orchestra

play the violin

write music

arrange concerts

play the saxophone

3. Who was the greatest violinist in the last half of the 19th century?

Joshua Bell

Sarah Chang

Joseph Joachim

Isaac Stern

Antonio Stradivari


Antonio Vivaldi
“Spring” from The Four Seasons

Composed in 1723
Performed by Capella Istropolitana
Stephen Gunzenhauser, conductor
Takako Nishizaki, violin

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