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Diego Pisador


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Diego Pisador (1509/10?-after 1557) was a Spanish vihuelist and composer of the Renaissance.

Little is known of the details of Pisador’s life, not even the exact dates of his birth and death. It is known that he was born in Salamanca around the years 1509 or 1510. He was the oldest son of Alonso Pisador and Isabel Ortiz, who married in 1508. Ortiz’s father, Alfonso III of Fonseca, Archbishop of Santiago, was a great patron of music. Alonso Pisador worked as a notary in the audience of the archbishop and, in 1524, he moved with the Archbishop’s court to Toledo. There he entered the service of the count of Monterrey, possibly Alonso de Acevedo y Zúñiga, who was also a grandson of Alfonso III. In 1526 Pisador took minor orders, but did not continue in an ecclesiastical career.

In 1532, his father moved to Galicia following Alonso de Acevedo y Zúñiga as the corregidor of Monterrey. He didn’t return to Salamanca until 1551, after his wife died in September 1550. He then settled in Salamanca in the care of his mother and his younger brother. He had charge of the economic affairs of the family, and the position of majordomo/administrator in the city of Salamanca, once held by his father.

At the death of his mother, Diego inherited the lion’s share of the family fortune, which upset his younger brother. Initially, the father sided with Diego in this dispute, but he threatened to marry and abandon his work on the book of vihuela music which had occupied him up to then.


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