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Francesco Durante (1684–1755)

Francesco Durante is remembered primarily as a teacher and composer of sacred music. He was born in southwest Italy, and pursued his career in Naples. He studied with an uncle who was primo maestro at the Conservatorio di S Onofrio a Capuana, as well as with Gaetano Greco and Alessandro Scarlatti.

Durante was appointed primo maestro of important conservatories, including Conservatorio delle Poveri di Gesu Cristo, Conservatorio di Santa Maria di Loreto, and Conservatorio di S Onofrio a Capuana (the position once held by his uncle). His many students in these capacities included Giovanni Battista Pergolesi.

As a composer, Durante created a significant body of religious music. Durante’s music was respected in his day, although time has diminished its once-great reputation. Today, Durante’s music is enjoyed for its emotion and historical associations.