The career of the “most excellent” Bolognese Paolo Cavalieri

Giovanni Cantone
IC Guinizelli di Bologna


This article aims at retrieving new information about composer Paolo Cavalieri and the cultural context in which he operated. It also amends a few biographical details and sheds light on as-yet-unknown aspects of his remarkable, multifaceted activity. A prominent figure of the Bologna clergy, Cavalieri was trained at the schola of San Petronio, and went on to work at San Pietro cathedral as a mansionario (a beneficed clergyman with a guaranteed income), holding several important offices in the city of Bologna between the 16th and 17th centuries.
What emerges from documentary research (which involved direct consultation of many original 16th-17th-century documents) and from possible links between different local archive sources, is an unusual figure in the Bologna community, a musician who was appreciated for his madrigals and liturgical polyphony, but also distinguished himself as a theology teacher. 

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