Maria Margherita Grimani

fl. 1713-1718



Little is known of Maria Margherita Grimani’s life other than the dates three of her major works were performed in Vienna. Grimani may have been born into the wealthy Grimani family of Venice, which would have made her the daughter of Pietro Grimani, the negotiator of an alliance between Venice and the Turks that took place in 1713. In that same year, Grimani’s opus dramaticum (dramatic work), Pallade e Marte, for soprano, alto, oboe, therabo, solo cello, strings and continuo, was written in Bologna, according to its inscription. The coinciding of Pietro’s negotiation and the beginning of Grimani’s publications appearing in Vienna may indicate their relationship. Pallade e Marte was written for the Emperor’s name day in November and was performed at the Vienna court theater.

Grimani also composed two oratorios, La visitazione de Elisabetta (The Visitation of Elizabeth) and La decollazione di S. Giovanni Battista (The Beheading of St. John the Baptist), perhaps as a canoness while living in Vienna like composers Rossi, Grazianini and Raschenau. Her oratorios were stylistically similar to Scarlatti’s with accompanied da capo arias of simple but clear expression, orchestral ritornelli, and an Italian overture for string orchestra.


The following selections are recommended for vocal study and programming on recitals and concerts.
Please note that this list may not constitute the entirety of the composer's output. 


Dramatic Work
Pallade e Marte (score begins on page 88)

La visitazione de Elisabetta
La decollazione di S. Giovanni Battista
     A un cuor innocente (alto)
     I fulmini d'un Dio (alto)
     S'hò fra nodi il piede avvinto (alto)
     L'esser fida (soprano)



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Briscoe, James. R. New Historical Anthology of Music by Women. Indiana University Press, 2004.

Glickman, Sylvia, and Martha Furman Schleifer, editors. From Convent to Concert Hall, A Guide to Women Composers. Greenwood Press, 2003.

Glickman, Sylvia, and Martha Furman Schleifer. Women Composers: Music Through the Ages, volumes 1-6. G.K. Hall and Co., 1996.

Jackson, Barbara Garvey. “Musical Women of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.” Women and Music: A History, edited by Karin Pendle. Indiana University Press, 2001, pages 54-94.

Jackson, Barbara Garvey. “Say Can you Deny Me." A guide to the surviving music by Women from the 16th through the 18th centuries. The University of Arkansas Press, 1994.