Settimia Caccini

Born: 1591, Florence, Italy
Died: 1638, Italy



Settimia Caccini (nicknamed La Flora or Florinda) was, “an illustrious singer with superhuman grace and an angelic voice,” wrote Marcello Buttigli, a popular music critic during Caccini’s time. She sang in her family’s consort in Florence with her mother, singer Lucia di Filippo Gagnolandi, father, composer Giulio Caccini, and older sister, composer and singer Francesca Caccini. At the Medici court where her father was employed, she probably made her singing debut in one of his 2 operas, Il rapimento di Cefalo (1600) or Euridice (1602). In 1611, she collaborated with her sister Francesca, and well known male composers, Antonio Archilei and Jacopo Peri, to compose Mascherata di ninfe di Senna.

While engaged to Alessandro Ghivizzani, a tumultuous conflict took place because Caccini’s family delayed paying their daughter’s dowry. The Ghivizzani family eventually abducted Caccini in Lucca until the dowry was paid. After marrying, Caccini and her husband were employed first by the Medicis and later by the Gonzaga family of Mantua, where they both had the opportunity to work with Monteverdi. Caccini and her husband performed in Lucca and Parma for years. Caccini likely composed at least four works under her married name, eventually returning to the Medici court as a singer in 1636 after her husband’s death. Despite not being as prolific a composer as her sister, Caccini’s talents as a singer were greatly admired.


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. 



Cusick, Suzanne G. Francesca Caccini at the Medici Court: Music and the Circulation of Power. University of Chicago Press, 2009.

Cypess, Rebecca. “Settimia Caccini Italian singer and composer.” Brittanica,

Bowers, Jane, and Judith Tick, eds. Women Making Music, The Western Art Tradition, 1150-1950. University of Illinois Press, 1987.

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

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.

Sadie, Julie Ann, and Rhian Samuel. The Norton/Grove Dictionary of Women Composers. W.W. Norton and Co., 1995.