Josquin des Prez


Josquin dez Prez was one of the most prolific composers of the Renaissance period.  Born in around 1440, in what was then the Duchy of Burgundy but is now modern-day Belgium, he wrote a very large amount of vocal and choral music, in both French and Italian.

  • During his lifetime it’s believed that Josquin dez Prez was the most in-demand composer in the whole of Europe.
  • His choral music is particularly beautiful; his skill was in writing different musical ‘lines’ (or ‘parts’) which imitated each other, creating a wonderful wall of sound.
  • Josquin de Prez was the 15th century equivalent of Madonna, Prince and Sting: he was so famous, he only ever needed to be referred to by one name alone.  If, during the composer’s lifetime, you said ‘Josquin’ to anyone in the know, they would immediately understand who you were talking about.
  • Josquin’s influence spread far beyond the musical elite: one of his biggest fans was the theologian Martin Luther.

Did You Know
Josquin dez Prez lived until 1521 – which means he almost certainly reached the age of 80.  Quite an impressive innings for a Renaissance composer!