Maddalena Casulana

(ca. 1540 - ca. 1590)

Italian composer. The first woman to publish her music, and the first to consider herself a professional composer. She received her early training at her birthplace of Casola d'Elsa, near Siena, and later in Florence. In 1583, Scotto published her First Book of Madrigals for Four Voices, and it was about this time she moved to Venice, where she gave private instruction. She is recorded as having played the lute for a private entertainment in Vicenzia. Thereafter she possibly moved to Milan, because her Second Book of Madrigals for Four Voices (Venice: Girolamo Scotto, 1570) is dedicated to a Milanese government official. Apparently she married, for the title page of the reprinted First Book of Madrigals for Four Voices (Ferrara: Angelo Gardano, 1583) refers to her as Maddalena Mezari detta Casulana. Her last known madrigal, a piece for three voices, appeared in a collection now known only in its second edition: Il Gaudio (Venice: Erede di Girolamo Scotto, 1586). After that, nothinmg more is known of her life.

A Partial Maddalena Casulana Discography |  IVD: Social Music In Italy