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Gioseppe Caimo

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Biography

Gioseppe Caimo (also Giuseppe) (c. 1545 – between September 6, 1584 and October 31, 1584) was an Italian composer and organist of the Renaissance, mainly active in Milan. He was a prolific composer of madrigals and other secular vocal music, and was one of the most prominent musicians in Milan in the 1570s and early 1580s.

He was born in Milan. No biographical details about his early life are known, but he was evidently a precocious composer , for his first publication was a book of four voice madrigals in 1564, written when he was probably in his late teens, and one of his compositions was probably performed for Emperor Maximilian when he was in Milan in 1563. This piece, Alli figliuoli del Sereniss. Re Massimigliano d’Austria Eccelsa e generosa prole degna, No. 5 in his 1564 publication, is taken by Alfred Einstein as evidence he was already renowned in his home city at this young age. Einstein called it “a fine, sonorous music to be played in the open.”

Caimo was organist at the church of San Ambrogio Maggiore in Milan from 1564, as indicated on the title page of his madrigal book of that year, probably until 1580 when he became the organist at Milan Cathedral. During the 1570s he acquired a connection with Wilhelm V’s ducal court in Bavaria, which had one of the most distinguished musical establishments north of the Alps, but they never succeeded in persuading Caimo to leave Milan.

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