Rossi, Michel Angelo

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Rossi, Michel Angelo

Rossi, Michel Angelo , esteemed Italian violinist, organist, and composer, known as Michel Angelo del Violino; b. Genoa, 1601 or 1602; d. Rome (buried), July 7, 1656. His uncle, Lelio Rossi, was a Servite friar and principal organist at the cathedral of S. Lorenzo in Genoa; Michel Angelo served as his assistant until his own departure to Rome about 1624. There he entered the service of Cardinal Maurizio of Savoy. After studies with Frescobaldi, he won the patronage of the Barberini family in 1630. He entered the service of the Este family in Modena in 1638, and also served the Sforza family in Ferrara; eventually returned to Rome. Rossi won special recognition as a violinist. His importance as a composer rests upon his output for keyboard, which included Toccate e correnti for Organ or Harpsichord (Rome, c. 1640; 2nd ed., 1657; ed. in Corpus of Early Keyboard Music, XV, 1966). He also composed 2 operas: Erminia sul Giordano (Rome, Feb. 2, 1633) and Andromeda (Ferrara, 1638).


J. Peterson, The Keyboard Works of M. R. (diss., Univ. of 111., 1975); C. Moore, The Composer M. R.: A “Diligent Fantasy Maker” in Seventeenth-Century Rome (N.Y., 1993).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire