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The greatest composer of Renaissance Spain, his reputation extended throughout Europe in his day.
Victoria sang as a choirboy at Ávila Cathedral. When his voice broke he was sent to Rome, where he may have studied under Palestrina. He remained in Italy until the 1580s, during which time he served as singer and organist at various churches and colleges. He was also ordained as a priest while in Italy. He returned to Spain as chaplain to Philip II’s sister, the Dowager Empress Maria, at the Descalzas Reales convent, Madrid, from 1587 until her death in 1603; he remained there as organist until his death, apart from a visit to Rome in 1594, when he attended Palestrina’s funeral. The greatest composer of Renaissance Spain, his reputation extended throughout Europe in his day. Much of music – all written to sacred Latin texts – was published, and the bulk of his output was Mass and motet settings.
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