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Juan Vásquez



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Juan Vásquez (or Vázquez, c. 1500, Badajoz - c. 1560, Seville) was a Spanish priest and composer of the renaissance. He can be considered part of the School of Andalusia group of composers along with Francisco Guerrero, Cristóbal de Morales, Juan Navarro Hispalensis and others.[1][2][3]

Even relative to the standards of early music composers, the life of Juan Vásquez is largely unknown, despite the best efforts of leading musicologists. [4] As a result, all mentions of his age are educated guesses by professionals rather than hard facts.[5] A chapel singer from boyhood, his engagement in 1511 as a “contralto” at the cathedral of Plasencia, Cáceres indicates that he was still a boy at that time. He does not appear in any other records for nearly 20 years. In late 1530 he turns up at Badajoz Cathedral, teaching plainchant to the choirboys. The year 1539 finds him singing in Palencia Cathedral, where he became known as a composer.[1] He then seems to have gone to Madrid in 1541, but by 1545 he was back in his native city of Badajoz as the cathedral’s chapel master (Maestro de capilla). From 1551, he was on the payroll of Seville’s Don Antonio de Zuñiga, to whom Vásquez dedicated his collection that year of Villancicos I canciones. It’s thought that Vásquez remained in Seville until his death. In 1560 all his secular compositions were published in Recopilatión de sonetos y villancicos.

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