Bergamo, 1644 -  Milan, after 1675

She was well known as a singer in her native city but on 19 April 1661 she took final vows at the Benedictine house of S Margarita in Milan.
Maria Cattarina was her religious name. Armellini’s account of her early death is inaccurate, since she is listed at this monastery into the 1670s.
Calvi mentioned that her Motetti à voce sola was printed in Bergamo in 1659; no trace of this collection survives, nor of the madrigals, six-voice Masses and Vespers that Calvi reported she had composed.
The disappearance of her music may have resulted from her conflicts with S Margarita over her spiritual dowry as well as from Archbishop Alfonso Litta’s musical restrictions at the monastery in the 1660s.


J. Fétis: Biographie universelle des musiciens
E.L. Gerber: Neues historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler
The New Grove Dictionary of Women Composers
J.H. Sainsbury: A Dictionary of Musicians
G. Schilling: Encyclopädie der gesammten musikalischen Wissenschaften, oder Universal-Lexicon der Tonkunst
Schmidl: Dizionario universale dei musicisti
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R.L. Kendrick: Celestial Sirens: Nuns and their Music in Early Modern Milan (Oxford, 1996)
Grove Music Online:


Robert L. Kendrick