Venetian singer and composer Barbara Strozzi was born 400 years ago this year. Times were not easy for women, and that was true for Barbara. She was gifted and she had good artistic genes. Her father was a poet who worked for some of our favorite Italian musicians like Monteverdi and Cavalli.
Barbara’s father Giulio went above and beyond to make sure Barbara had a chance to study and compose. Some said she was “the most prolific composer - man or woman - of printed secular vocal music in Venice and the Middle of the century.”
Most of her music was for soprano and often the poetry was from a woman’s perspective, which is pretty refreshing given some of the misogynistic poetry of the time.
Learn more about Barbara Strozzi on Wikipedia.