Josquin des Prez

des Prez

Josquin des Prez (1450?-1521) was a French composer of high Renaissance music. The central figure of the Franco-Flemish School, Josquin is widely considered the first master of the complex Renaissance style of polyphony which emerged during his lifetime. His career spanned France and Italy under the patronage of the House of Sforza, two popes, Louis XII and Ercole I d'Este, among others, yet the details of his activity are shadowy, and almost nothing is known about his personality. More than 370 works are attributed to him; it was only after the advent of modern analytical scholarship that some of these attributions were challenged and revealed as mistaken, on the basis of stylistic features and manuscript evidence. Regardless, he was among the most innovative and well-known composers of his time, exerting a profound influence on both his contemporaries and subsequent composers.