- Lassus [Lasso], Orlande [Roland] de [Orlando di] (b Mons, 1530 or 1532 - d Munich, 14 June, 1594)
- Lassus served Ferrante Gonzaga of Mantua from c1544, accompanying him to Sicily and Milan (1546-9). He worked for Contantino Castrioto in Naples, where he probably began to compose, and then moved to Rome to join the Archbishop of Florence's household becoming maestro di cappella of St John's Lateran in 1553. He returned north to Antwerp and Mons where early works were published (1555/6), and he joined the court chapel of Duke Albrecht V of Bavaria in Munich as a singer in 1556. He married in 1558. Although he was a Catholic, he took over the court chapel in 1563, and severed the duke and his heir, Wilhelm V, for over 30 years until his death. In this post he consolidated his position be having many works published and travelling frequently, establishing himself an international reputation. The pope made him a Knight of the Golden Spur in 1574.
Lassus wrote over 200 works in almost every genre including masses, motets, hymns, responsorial Passions, and secular pieces in Italian, French and German. Most of his masses are parody masses based on motets, songs, or madrigals by himself or others. His motets include didactic pieces, ceremonial works for special occasions, settings of classical texts, liturgical items, and private devotional pieces. He issued five large volumes of sacred music as Patrocinium musices between 1573 and 1576, and after his death his sons assembled another, Magnus opus musicum in 1604.
His motets combine the features of several national styles: expressive Italian melody, elegant French text setting, and solid northern polyphony enhanced by Lassus's imaginative responses to the texts. His secular music reveal a cosmopolitan with varied tastes: his madrigals range from lightweight villanellas to intensely expressive sonnets; among the German leider are sacred hymns and psalms, delicate love songs, and raucous drinking songs. His versatility and wide expressive range place him amongst the most significant figures of the Renaissance.