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Jacobus de Kerle


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Jacobus de Kerle (1531/1532 - 7 January 1591) was a Flemish composer and organist of the late Renaissance.

Kerle was trained at the monastery of St. Martin in Ypres, and held positions as a singer in Cambrai and choirmaster in Orvieto, where he also became organist and carillonneur. After entering the priesthood, he began having his music printed, including a 1561 collection of psalms and Magnificat settings in Venice. He was commissioned to write Preces Speciales for the Council of Trent, which he completed by 1562, and visited the city during the time of the Council in his travels with Cardinal Otto, though he did not take part in their discussions regarding music.

In 1565, he was appointed director of music at Ypres Cathedral, though he would lose this position after being excommunicated in 1567 due to a dispute with another priest. From there he moved to Rome and then to Augsburg, where he was offered a position in 1568 as vicar-choral and organist at the Augsburg Cathedral by Cardinal Otto. He stayed there until 1574, when was passed over for the open Kapellmeister position at Augsburg. After leaving Augsburg in 1575, his whereabouts are unknown until 1579, when he appears in the registers of the Cambrai Cathedral; he continued to move often late in his life, accepting positions in Mons, Cologne, Augsburg again, Vienna, and finally Prague, where he lived from 1583 until his death in 1591

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