Ferrabosco, Alfonso (I)

About 1515-1588

Italian composer of madrigals, who settled in England about the middle of the Sixteenth Century, and was known there as Master Alfonso, being in the service of the Queen. Ferrabosco was in the service of the Duke of Savoy in Italy from 1578, and when he left England his children were left there and became musicians of more or less note. He composed madrigals for five voices, published at Venice in 1587, and dedicated to the Duke of Savoy, in whose service he was, and a second set published later he dedicated to the Duchess of Savoy. He also wrote motets and music for the virginals. Ferrabosco was considered the most important of the Italian musicians who lived in England in the Sixteenth Century, and his songs were generally praised and very popular. A large number of his works are in English collections, notably, a number of motets in the British Museum and libraries in various parts of England, and two pieces written by him for the lute were printed by Robert Dowland in his Varietie of Lute Lessons, published in 1610.