Giovanni Giacomo Porro

Giovanni Giacomo Porro was born in Lugano around 1590 and worked, among other things, as organist for the Duke of Savoy Carlo Emanuele, as Kapellmeister at the Roman San Lorenzo in Damaso and as a substitute for the organ virtuoso Girolamo Frescobaldi at the Cappella Giulia. In 1635 he was appointed Kapellmeister to the court of Maximilian I in Munich. From there he made several trips to Italy to recruit Italian musicians for the Munich court orchestra. Porro used to be in regular contact with Galileo Galilei, by whom he set poems to music. Although no opera performance has survived under Porro’s direction, there are indications of him as a potential co-founder of the music-theatrical tradition in Munich. He worked here until his death in 1656. Almost all of his compositions, which were mostly of a sacred nature but also included madrigals and ballets, have been lost, according to a posthumous list of more than 1100 compositions.

Photo credit: By Domenico Tintoretto –, public domain,