Bartolomeo Tromboncino

Italian composer

Bartolomeo Tromboncino (born Verona around 1470; died in or near Venice in 1535 or later) was an Italian composer. He lived in the Renaissance period. He is famous as a composer of songs called frottole. He is also remembered because he murdered his wife.

We know very little about his life. He probably grew up in Mantua. In a letter he says that he came from Verona. Until around 1500 he lived and worked in Mantua, but sometimes he went to other towns when he was in trouble. In 1499 he found his wife with another man, so he murdered her. He may also have murdered the other man. We cannot be sure about this. He does not seem to have been punished. This may be because a rich lady called Isabella d'Este liked him.

From 1502 Tromboncino was employed by a rich lady called Lucrezia Borgia. She is remembered today because she was a very bad woman. He wrote music for the court and for her wedding to Alfonso d'Este. Sometime before 1521 he moved to Venice, where he probably spent the rest of his life.

His frottole are very lively and full of fun. He played the trombone. This is how he got his name. He also wrote some serious sacred music.