Marco Vitale was born in Palermo (Italy) in 1980.
He studied piano, organ, harpsichord and composition at Palermo’s “V. Bellini” Conservatory, where he took the piano diploma in 2001 and the organ diploma in 2002 with full marks and “Cum Laude”.
He took part in many international master-classes where he developed his skills and taste for baroque music. His concert life began at age of 15, with performances as a soloist and chamber musician. In 2002 he moved to The Netherlands where he studied at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague.
He took a Bachelor’s degree in organ with Jos van der Kooy and a Master in Early Music (harpsichord) with Ton Koopman.
His musical activity brought him to play in the most prestigious venues and festivals in Europe, USA, Canada and Middle East as a soloist/continuo player or director of his Contrasto Armonico.
Marco Vitale is the co-founder and musical director of “Contrasto Armonico”, baroque orchestra specialized in the performance of music in Italian style and baroque operas, using original instruments and historical performance practices. He is currently involved in the recordings of the Complete Italian Cantatas by Handel (formerly on Brilliant Classics, now on ayros), a thrilling project that will bring light on many undiscovered jewels of Handel which are neither edited nor recorded.
He appeared in radio and TV broadcasts in Netherlands (AVRO), Germany, Austria (ORF), Spain, Poland (Polskie Radio), Italy (RAI), UK (BBC) and Syria (Syrian National Television), and he participated in recordings for Alia Vox (Rameau, L’Orchestre de Louis XV), and Naïve (Vivaldi’s Teuzzone).
In 2012 he founded his own records label ‘ayros’, featuring recordings of Contrasto Armonico, with whom is continuing the project of Handel Complete Cantatas and starting new thrilling discographic projects. In addition to performing with Contrasto Armonico he also gives master-classes about baroque music throughout Europe and Middle East. From 2008 till 2011 he worked at the Higher Institute of Music of Damascus (Syria) for an early music development project.
In 2018 he composed an opera in 17th century style, with the title of “Il ratto di Helena” on a libretto by Virgilio Puccitelli (1636). The opera was commissioned by the Palace of Grandukes of Lithuania, and performed in Vilnius in occasion of the 100 years of Lithuanian independence.
He regularly performs with Jordi Savall, ‘Le Concert des Nations & Hesperion XXI and worked as a guest conductor at Warsaw Chamber Opera.
William Byrd was an English composer. He was one of the greatest composers of his generation. Hiis name is sometimes spelled as Bird, Byrde, or Byred. The exact dates of his birth and death are not known, and even his place of birth (Lincoln) is merely guesswork, based on the fact that several families named Byrd lived in Lincolnshire during the 17th century.
As a child, Byrd received music lessons from the renowned Thomas Tallis in the Chapel Royal in London. Byrd is part of the so-called virginalists. In 1563, he was appointed as organist of the cathedral in Lincoln, even though he must have only been around 20 years old and in 1572 he was appointed as organist of Chapel Royal together with Tallis. In 1575, again with Tallis, he received the rights to publish and sell his music by Queen Elizabeth I. In honour of the Queen, the two composers dedicated their Cantiones Sacrae in the same year.
On multiple occasions, Byrd was prosecuted in court. As a catholic, he was repeatedly prosecuted for the rejection of Anglicanism. Nonetheless, he remained in favour of the Queen, probably because he composed music for both religious branches. Moreover, he wrote both secular and sacred music, and both vocal and instrumental pieces.