Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611)
Tomás Luis de Victoria is widely considered to be the finest Spanish composer of the Renaissance period. Like the slightly younger Sebastián de Vivanco, he began his musical training as a chorister at the Cathedral in his native Ávila under Bernardino de Ribera and then in 1565 moved to Rome where he held various positions, eventually rising to maestro di capella of the Roman Seminary (succeeding Palestrina, who was clearly a great influence on Victoria’s music). He was ordained a priest in 1574 and later returned to Spain as chaplain to the sister of King Philip II (for whom he later wrote his Officium Defunctorum, 1605). Unusually, his output is entirely sacred and like Palestrina and Lassus, his music has come to epitomise the ideals of the Counter-Reformation.