Juan del Encina

(1468 - 1529)

Spanish composer, playwright and courtier. He entered the Duke of Alba's service in 1492 as master of ceremonies, writing both text and music for plays that were performed at the court. When in 1498 he failed to get a musical post at Salamanca cathedral he went to Rome to seek the aid of the Spanish Pope Alexander VI, who gave him a benefice there; he became a priest in 1519 and held various ecclesiastical posts in Málaga and Laón. Encina was the principal contributor to the Cancionero de Palacio, a songbook of c.1500 containing courtly love-songs in villancico form. Some of his pieces were for occasional use, and some intended to be sung at theatrical productions; indeed, by uniting popular and artistic elements, he broke new ground in the field of Spanish secular drama.

A Partial Juan del Encina Discography  |  IVL: The Iberian Masters