Giovanni Paolo Cima


Born: 1570; Milan, Italy   Died: 1630; Milan, Italy  
Giovanni Paolo Cima was among the most important Italian instrumental composers from the early-17th century and is generally recognized as foremost among the Milanese contingent. His 1610 collection, Concerti ecclesiastici, contains works that are among the earliest surviving prototypes of solo sonatas and trio sonatas.

Cima appears to have lived his entire life in Milan and its vicinity, though he likely traveled to Rome and
Read more Venice, and perhaps to other major Italian cities. Born around 1570, probably into favorable circumstances, he undoubtedly received good education and must have developed a remarkable talent as a keyboard player that had become widely recognized during teens or at least by his adult years. Indeed, he was appointed to the prestigious post of organist at San Maria presso San Celso Church in 1595, when he was about twenty-five years old.

He twice held the position of maestro di cappella there, first from 1607 to 1611, and then from 1614 until his death in 1630. While during both these incumbencies he was never officially installed in the post, he was in all but name the maestro di cappella, performing all duties associated with that title.

Cima was fairly active as a composer throughout his career: his first collection of works appeared in 1599 and contained motets for four voices. A second publication followed in 1606, this one including ricercars and canzonas. The aforementioned Concerti ecclesiastici, probably his most important effort, contained a mixture of instrumental and sacred vocal works. He produced other compositions that were scattered about in various publications from 1598 to 1626. Among the more significant of these were the vocal works that appeared in Angleria's important collection from 1622, Regola del contrapunto.

While Cima remained active as a composer at least until 1626, his work at San Maria continued right up to his passing from the horrendous 1630 plague that spread the dreaded ?black death' throughout Milan and Italy. Read less

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