Porta, Costanzo , important Italian composer; b. Cremona, 1528 or 1529; d. Padua, May 19, 1601. He most likely began his religious training at the convent of Porta S. Luca in Cremona. He then went to Casalmaggiore, possibly to enter his novitiate. He was transferred to S. Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice about 1549. He studied music with Willaert, the choirmaster of San Marco. In 1552 he became maestro di cappella of the cathedral in Osimo, near Ancona. On April 14, 1565, he became maestro di cappella of the Cappella Antoniona in Padua. In 1567 he became maestro di cappella of the cathedral in Ravenna. In 1574 he was called to the Santa Casa in Loreto. He publ. his first book of masses in 1578, and his Liber motectorum followed in 1580. He returned to Ravenna in 1580, making visits to the Este court in Ferrara and the Gonzaga court in Mantua. In 1589 he took charge of the chapel of the cathedral in Padua, but in 1592 was ordered to take up residence at the Convento del Santo. In 1595 he again became maestro di cappella at the Cappella Antoniana, a position he held until his death. Porta was one of the leading Italian composers and teachers of his time, being greatly esteemed as a contrapuntist. A modern ed. of his works, Costanzo Porta: Opera Omnia, was publ. in Padua (1964–70).
VOCAL : Sacred: 37 Motectorum…liber primus for 5 Voices (Venice, 1555); Liber primus  motectorum for 4 Voices (Venice, 1559; 2nd ed., rev., 1591); Musica  introitus missarum…in diebus dominicis for 5 Voices (Venice, 1566; 2nd ed., rev., 1588); Musica  introitis missarum…in solemnitatibus omnium sanctorum for 5 Voices (Venice, 1566; 2nd ed., rev., 1588); Musica  canenda…liber primus for 6 Voices (Venice, 1571); Litaniae deiparae virginis Mariae for 8 Voices (Venice, 1575); (12) Missarum liber primus for 4 to 6 Voices (Venice, 1571); Liber  motectorum for 4 to 8 Voices (Venice, 1580); Musica  canenda…liber tertius for 6 Voices (Venice, 1585); (44) Hymnodia sacra totius per anni circulum for 4 Voices (Venice, 1602); Psalmodia vespertina omnium solemnitatem decantando cum 4 canticis beatae virginis for 8 and 16 Voices (Ravenna and Venice, 1605); (23) Motectorum for 5 Voices (Venice, 1605); also various motets, Psalms, and litanies in other collections of the period. Secular: Il primo libro de  madrigali for 4 Voices (Venice, 1555); Il primo libro de  madrigali for 5 Voices (Venice, 1559); Il //primo libra de  madrigali for 4 Voices (Venice, 1555); Il terzo libra de  madrigali for 5 Voices (Venice, 1559); Il quarto libro de  madrigali for 5 Voices (Venice, 1589); various other madriglas in other collections of the period.
F. Hafkemayer, C. P. aus Cremona: Untersuchungen über seine kirchenmusikalischen Arbeiten (diss., Univ. of Freiburg, 1953); A. Garbelotto, Il Padre C. P. da Cremona, OFM. Conv. (Padua, 1955); L. Pruett, The Masses and Hymns of C. P. (diss., Univ. of N.C., I960).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire