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Marbrianus de Orto

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Biography

Marbrianus de Orto (Dujardin; also Marbriano, Marbrianus) (c. 1460 – January or February 1529) was a Franco-Flemish composer of the Renaissance. He was a contemporary, close associate, and possible friend of Josquin des Prez, and was one of the first composers to write a completely canonic setting of the Ordinary of the Mass.

The illegimate child of a priest, Orto was probably born in Tournai, and spent the early part of his life there. While his original surname was Dujardin, he used “de Orto” (the Italian translation of Dujardin) throughout his life. In June 1482, in the household of Ferry de Clugny, Cardinal-Bishop of Tournai (who died 7 October 1483), he went to Rome, where he became a singer in the papal chapel; he may have become an accomplished composer around this time, since his Missa ad fugam seems to have been written in response to the similar composition by Josquin des Prez, tentatively dated to the early 1480s, and Orto’s mass was copied for the Capella Sistina between 1487 and 1490.[2]


The church of St. Gertrude in Nivelles, where Orto worked from the mid 1490s until his death in 1529, and where he is buried.While he served in the Sistine Chapel choir until at least 1499, during the papacies of Innocent VIII and Alexander VI, he began to acquire other posts and benefices. He was particularly popular with Innocent, who awarded him benefices and allowed him to rise in the hierarchy in spite of his illegitimatacy.

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