May 15, 1567 – Birthdate of Claudio Monteverdi, Italian priest and composer.
Monteverdi’s work, often regarded as revolutionary, marked the change from the Renaissance style of music to that of the Baroque period. He developed two styles of composition – the heritage of Renaissance polyphony and the new basso continuo technique of the Baroque. Monteverdi wrote one of the earliest operas, L’Orfeo, a novel work that is the earliest surviving opera still regularly performed. He is widely recognized as an inventive composer who enjoyed considerable fame in his lifetime.
In 1993, Germany issued a 100-Mark stamp commemorating the 350th anniversary of Monteverdi’s death (Scott No. 1819).