Tomas Luis de Victoria

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Tomás Luis de Victoria (sometimes referred to as Vittoria) (1548-1611), Spanish composer, was the greatest representative of the Spanish school of music at the climax of polyphony in the late 16th century.

He was sent to Rome as a teenager and may have studied under Palestrina. He was taught, then became a teacher himself, before taking holy orders. He returned to Spain as chaplain to Philip II’s sister in the 1580s.

He only wrote sacred music of the unaccompanied contrapuntal type, but is considered one of the leading composers of the Renaissance throughout Europe. Unlike the serenity of much of the sacred music of his contemporaries, Palestrina, Byrd and Lassus, Victoria’s could be passionate and dramatic and was often mystical.

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