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Author photo. Portrait by Francois Morellon La Cave 1725 / Photo © <a href="http://www.bildarchivaustria.at">ÖNB/Wien</a>

Portrait by Francois Morellon La Cave 1725 / Photo © ÖNB/Wien

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Antonio Vivaldi, nicknamed "il Prete Rosso" (the Redheaded Priest), was an ordained priest and a composer, as well as a famous virtuoso violinist. His best-known work is The Four Seasons, a series of 4 violin concerti. According to his own account, Vivaldi had become a priest in 1703 against his will and after a year he was no longer active in this role. He spent most of his life working at the Ospedale della Pietà in his native Venice – which, though often termed an orphanage, was actually a home for the girl children of noblemen and their mistresses. Many of Vivaldi's concerti were created as exercises to play for and with his many talented pupils.
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