- Lassus, Roland de
- also Orlando di Lasso (ca. 1530-1594).Composer and musical performer. Born at Mons in the southern Netherlands, he studied music there. His beautiful voice was so admired that he was kidnapped three times by patrons who wanted his services as a singer. In 1544 he travelled to Italy in the service of the Spanish viceroy of Sicily. In 1552 he became choirmaster in the church of St. John Lateran at Rome. Called home by the illness of his parents, he remained in the North after their death and settled in Antwerp. Eventually Lassus became a chapel singer in the service of Duke Albert V of Bavaria at Munich and remained there for the rest of his life. More than a thousand of his compositions survive, covering every contemporary genre except instrumental music. This number includes more than 500 motets and 60 masses and other liturgical music. He also composed musical settings for Italian-language madrigals and for poems by several contemporary French poets. The diffusion of his compositions in printed form enhanced his reputation as the greatest composer of his time.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.