Vitali, Filippo, Italian composer; b. Florence, c. 1590; d. probably there, after April 1, 1653. In 1631 he became a singer in the Pontifical Choir in Rome; also was a priest in the service of Cardinal Francesco Barberini and Cardinal Antonio Barberini. In 1642 he returned to Florence as maestro di cappella of the grand ducal chapel of S. Lorenzo, and in 1648-49 he was also maestro di cappella at S. Maria Maggiore in Bergamo. His “favola in musica” L’Aretusa,performed on Feb. 8, 1620, at the home of Monsignor Corsini, is regarded as the first attempt at opera in Rome (publ. there, 1620). In 1622 he composed six intermedi for the comedy La finta moraby J. Cicognini, performed at the palace of Cardinal de’ Medici in Florence (publ. there, 1623). He was highly esteemed by his contemporaries for his mastery of polyphony; his most significant works are the cycle of 34 hymns set to Latin texts and publ. in the Brevarium romanum (1632). He also composed other sacred and secular works.
J. Pruett, The Works of F V (diss., Univ. of N.C., 1962).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire