Tomás Luis de Victoria was born as the seventh child to a family of eleven chilren, in Madrid. He received his first music lessons as a choirboy, and after his voice change at puberty he was sent to Rome to attend a different choir. There he undoubtedly got to know the renowned Palestrina, perhaps he was even Palestrina's student. He soon established a flourishing career as a musician and composer, until 1587 when he joined a monastery and composed music for them. The working conditions were so favourable that he was never tempted to accept a new offer for a better position.
As a composer, De Victoria exclusively focused on the Latin liturgy: he composed many missas, magnificats and motets. For now his gloomy music, such as his Requiem and his lamentations for the Holy Week, remains the most popular. Because of this, De Victoria is often unfairly portrayed as a somber romantic, but he didn't appear to be a worrier at all! And if you listen closely, you can hear the musical joy in his music