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Often called the "Red Priest" because of hair color and early vocation, Italian Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi was born in 1648 and spent most of his adult life teaching music at a girls' orphanage in Venice. During a period of outstanding creativity and virtuoso performers, Vivaldi may have overshadowed almost all of them except Johann Sebastian Bach. Vivaldi developed the concerto into its modern form and produced some of the most familiar music from the period, including his "Four Seasons." He outlived his fame and died in 1741. Ironically, just as it took Mendelssohn to restore Bach to his place among composers, it was Bach's transcriptions that kept Vivaldi's memory alive until his music once again stood on its own feet, beginning in the 1800s.

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