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Philippe de Monte (1521-1603)
Monte has only recently begun to be recognized as one of the most accomplished composers of the late Renaissance. His music approaches in quality the music of Lassus and Byrd, musicians whom he counted as his friends and professional colleagues. Born in Mechelen, Belgium, the composer probably received his early musical training there before traveling to Italy in 1542 to serve for some years as music teacher to a wealthy Neapolitan family. After supervising the publication of his first book of madrigals in Rome, De Monte returned north to Antwerp, then soon thereafter briefly joined the musical establishment of Philip II of Spain while Philip was in England in preparation for his marriage to Mary Tudor. While in England, De Monte struck up the acquaintance of one Thomas Byrd, singer in the Chapel Royal, and his young son, the composer William Byrd with whom he was to continue a professional and personal correspondence long after his departure from England. For the next dozen or so years, De Monte led a peripatetic existence in Italy while continuing to publish a series of successful madrigal collections. In 1568 he was appointed musical director to the imperial court of Maximilian II and served in that capacity for the remainder of his life, first in Vienna and, after 1576, in Prague under Rudolph II. It was only after receiving this appointment that De Monte began composing and publishing sacred music; collections of masses and motets were to appear with increasing frequency until shortly before his death.  
Philippe de Monte
Works of Monte published by Notre Dame Choir Editions
NDC030: Lux perpetua lucebit
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