Regarded by his contemporaries as the leading madrigal composer of his time, Luca Marenzio was an important figure in sixteenth-century Italian music, and also highly esteemed in England, Flanders and Poland. This English translation of Marco Bizzarini's study of the life and work of Marenzio provides valuable insights into the composer's influence and place in history, and features an extensive, up-to-date bibliography and the first published list of archival sources containing references to Marenzio. Women play a decisive role as dedicatees of Marenzio's madrigals and in influencing the way in which they were performed. Bizzarini examines in detail the influence of both female and male patrons and performers on Marenzio's music and career, including his connections with the confraternity of SS Trinit nd other institutions. Dedications were also a political tool, as the book reveals. Many of Marenzio's dedications were made at the request of his employer Cardinal d'Este who wanted to please his French allies. Bizzarini examines these extra-musical dimensions to Marenzio's work and discusses the composer's new musical directions under the more austere administration of Pope Clement VIII.