Anerio, Felice, significant Italian composer, brother of Giovanni Francesco Anerio; b. Rome, c. 1560; d. there, Sept. 26 or 27, 1614. He pursued his career in Rome. He was a choirboy at S. Maria Maggiore from 1568 to 1574, and then sang at the Cappella Giulia from 1575 and at S. Luigi dei Francesi from 1579 to 1584. In 1584 he received the tonsure and was made maestro di cappella at the Collegio degli Inglesi, where he served until 1585. In 1594 he was named composer to the papal choir. He became a deacon in 1607 and soon thereafter was made a priest. With Soriano, he was entrusted with reforming the Roman Gradual in 1611, a task completed in 1612. Anerio composed in a conservative style that was greatly admired for its expressive power.
SACRED: Madrigali spirituali for 5 Voices (2 vols., Rome, 1585); Sacri hymni, et cantica for 8 Voices (Venice, 1595) and for 5, 6, and 8 Voices (Rome, 1602); Responsoria ad lectiones divini officü feriae quartae, quintae, et sextae sanctae hebdomadae for 4 Voices (Rome, 1606); also masses, Psalms, spiritual canzonettas, laudi, motets, etc. secular:Canzonette for 4 Voices (Venice, 1586); Madrigals for 5 and 8 Voices (Venice, 1587), 6 Voices (Venice, 1509 and Rome, 1602), 3 Voices (Venice, 1598), and 5 Voices (not extant).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire