Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
Composer of sacred music; born Palestrina, Italy, c.1526; died Rome, Italy, 1594.
Said to have been a pupil of Jacob Arcadelt, he owed his training in liturgy to Saint Philip Neri. In 1551 he became chapel-master at the Vatican, later a member of the papal choir, and director of the choirs of Saint John Lateran (1555-1561) and of San Maria Maggiore (1561-1571).
His reforms . in liturgical music were based on the Tridentine decrees, his great "Missa Papae Marcelli," 1565, being later presented by papal brief as a model.
The office of "Composer to the Papal Chapel" was created for him by Pope Paul IV, and he was also appointed choirmaster at Saint Peter's, 1571.
His works, all of which are sacred, excepting two volumes of madrigals, set a new standard for polyphonic music; he has become inseparably associated with this school under the title Princeps Musicae, won by his work of twenty-nine motetti on the "Canticle of Canticles."
His works, published in 33 volumes by Breitkopf and Hartel, 1894, contain 93 Masses, 179 motetti, 45 hymns, 68 offertories, besides 10 books of lamentations, litanies, magnificats, and madrigals.
New Catholic Dictionary