Ferri, Baldassare, celebrated Italian castrato soprano; b. Perugia, Dec. 9, 1610; d. there, Nov. 18, 1680. He was a choirboy in Orvieto, where he entered the service of Cardinal Crescenzio in 1622. He then studied in Naples and with Vincenzo Ugolini in Rome. He entered the service of Prince Wladyslaw of Poland in Warsaw in 1625 and continued in his employ when he became King Wladyslaw IV Vasa in 1632. In 1655 he went to Vienna, where he served the emperors Ferdinand III and Leopold I until about 1665; he then returned to Italy. He gained public renown with his appearances in major music centers, his travels taking him as far as London. According to contemporary accounts, he possessed a phenomenal voice and accumulated a great fortune.
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire