2 February 2019

2 February

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina - composer

Prolific writer had huge influence on the development of religious music

The composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, who was the most famous representative of the 16th century Roman school of musical composition and whose work is often described as the culmination of Renaissance polyphony, died on this day in 1594 in Rome. He composed hundreds of pieces, including 104 masses, more than 300 motets, at least 72 hymns and some 140 or more madrigals, and was maestro di cappella of the Julian Choir at St Peter’s for many year. Read more...


Antonio Maria Valsalva – anatomist

Work by brilliant professor benefits astronauts today

Antonio Maria Valsalva, a much respected anatomist, died on this day in 1723 in Bologna.  Valsalva’s research focused on the anatomy of the ear and his discoveries were so important that a piece of equipment used by astronauts today to equalise the pressure in their ears was named after him, as is the Valsalva manoeuvre used to clear the ears and sinuses. Read more...


Antonio Segni - prime minister and president

Sardinian politician famous for tactical cunning

Antonio Segni, the first Sardinian to become Italy's prime minister, was born on this day in 1891 in Sassari, the second largest city on the island. Segni was prime minister from 1955 to 1957 and again from 1959 to 1960, serving as president from 1962 until he was forced to retire due to ill health in 1964.  Sassari was also the hometown of another Italian prime minister, Francesco Cossiga, and of the country's most successful Communist leaders, Enrico Berlinguer. Read more...


Raimondo D’Inzeo – Olympic showjumper

First athlete to compete in eight consecutive Games

The showjumper Raimondo D'Inzeo, who with his older brother Piero became the first athlete to compete in eight consecutive Olympic Games, was born on this day in 1925 in Poggio Mirteto, a small town about 45km (28 miles) northeast of Rome. The D’Inzeo brothers enjoyed their finest moment in the individual event at the 1960 Olympics in Italy, where Raimondo took gold on his horse Posillipo and Piero silver on The Rock. Read more...


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