Adrian Willaert can be viewed as pivot point between the late Renaissance and the early Baroque. Born in Bruges, he soon moved to Italy for his education. There, he worked for a short period in Ferrara to eventually settle in Venice, where he worked until his death for the St Mark's Basilica - a period of over 34 years. Besides his activities as a musician and a composer, he also educated a unique group of talented students, among which Cipriano de Rore and Costanzo Porta.
A central part of his body of works is the large number of motets, especially the influential collection Musica nova, published in 1559. A few years before, he already caused a stir with polyphonic compositions for each of the seasons (like the vespers), in which hymnes for the whole Ecclesial year could be found. This focus on the seasons is remarkbable for his age, in which composers mostly focused on composing missas. Willaert also played an important part in the development of the instrumental ricercare. Moreover, he was also an important predeccesor to the rich polyphonic choral tradition of Venice.