Donato Baldassare Italie Baldassare Donato (also Donati) (1525-1530 ? June 1603) was an Italian composer and singer of the Venetian school of the late Renaissance. He was maestro di cappella of the prestigious St. Mark's Basilica at the end of the 16th century, and was an important figure in the development of Italian light secular music, especially the villanella.
Details of his early life are unavailable; it is not even known where he was born. The first record of Donato is as a singer at St. Mark's in Venice in 1550, and he was given charge of the musical training of the boys there in 1562. When Gioseffo Zarlino took over the post of maestro di cappella from Cipriano de Rore in 1565, Donato was demoted back to being a singer; conflict between the two men seems to have been a feature of life at St. Mark's, culminating in a climactic fight in 1569, publicly and scandalously, during the Feast of St. Mark. In 1577 Donato took a position at the Scuola Grande di S Rocco, another Venetian church with an impressive musical tradition and substantial performing ensemble; however he failed to get along with his employers there as well, resigning by 1580. In 1588 he became assistant maestro di cappella at St. Mark's, while Zarlino was still alive (whether because of reconcilement or politics is not clear), and in 1590 he took over the post of his former antagonist, holding it until his death in 1603. (Hide extended text) ... (Read all)