- Des Prez, Josquin
- (ca. 1440-1521)Franco-Flemish musician, generally regarded as the greatest composer of the early 16th century. Probably born along the northern border of France, he worked as a professional singer at Milan cathedral (1459-1472), as a musician at the ducal chapel there (1472-1476), and between 1486 and 1494 lived at Rome in the service of Cardinal Ascanio Sforza and then at the papal chapel. He returned to France, probably at the royal court, from 1501 to 1503, became director of the chapel of the dukes of Ferrara in 1503, but in the following year returned permanently to France, where he was provost of Notre Dame at Condé-sur-l'Escaut. Josquin's music blends his original Franco-Flemish style with Italian influences. His surviving works, found both in manuscript and in contemporary printed music, include 18 masses, 100 motets, and 70 secular vocal works. He was by far the most famous composer of his age. Martin Luther, who was himself skilled at music, called him "the master of the notes," and a later 16th-century author compared his dominance of music to the mastery that Michelangelo exercised in the visual arts.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.