The Kennedy Center

Alonso Lobo


Alonso Lobo was a highly regarded Spanish composer of the Baroque period. He was born in Osuna, Spain on February 25, 1555 and died in Seville on April 5, 1617.
His musical career began in Seville where he became a choirboy when he was 11 years old.  At 31 years old he became a canon in the collegiate church at Osuna.  In 1591 the Seville Cathedral appointed him to assist Francisco Guerrero, the aging maestro de capilla.  When Guerrero took a leave of absence, Lobo was asked to direct the choir.  In 1593 he was appointed maestro de capilla of Toledo Cathedral and in 1604 he returned to Seville Cathedral in a similar position. 
Lobo's works fall within the general school of polychoral writing begun in Spain by Tomas Luis de Victoria.  He composed masses, motets, lamentations and hymns.  Three of the masses, Prudentes virgines, Beata Dei genetrix and Maria Magdalena, are based on motets by Guerrero, with whom he presumably studied during his time as a choirboy.
His best known work, the motet Versa est in luctum, was written on the death of Philip II.  It is part of a printed collection of Lobo's work, the Liber Primus Missarum (Madrid, 1602), which contains seven motets and six masses.  Another work, the Credo Romano, continued to be popular long after his death as were his Lamentations for Holy Saturday.
Well-used copies of his Liber Primus Missarum found in Mexico City, Puebla and Coimbra show that his reputation as one of Spain's finest composers extended to Portugal and Mexico.
Alonso Lobo