Individual Composer

Giovanni Paulo Colonna

1637 - 1695

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Italian musician, was born in Bologna about 1637 and died in the same city on the 28th of November 1695.

He was a pupil of Filippuzzi in Bologna, and of Abbatini and Benevoli in Rome, where for a time he held the post of organist at S. Apollinare. A dated poem in praise of his music shows that he began to distinguish himself as a composer in I659. In that year he was chosen organist at S. Petronio in Bologna, where on the 1st of November 1674 he was made maestro di capella. He also became president of the Philharmonic Academy of Bologna. Most of Colonna’s works are for the church, including settings of the psalms for three, four, five and eight voices, and several masses and motets. He also composed an opera, under the title Amilcare, and an oratorio, La Profezia d’ Eliseo. The emperor Leopold I. received a copy of every composition of Colonna, so that the imperial library in Vienna possesses upwards of 83 church compositions by him. Colonna’s style is for the most part dignified and in a the 'older' style of church music. It is in his few secular works, including 22 cantatas, that we see the fresher, younger approach of the fashionable music writing.