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Barbara Strozzi was born to a servant in the household of Giulio Strozzi, who, shortly before 1638, adopted her. Giulio Strozzi was a central personality in Venetian cultural circles, thus Barbara grew up in an artistic, intellectual environment, receiving lessons not only in voice, harpsichord, lute and composition, but also in Latin, Greek, rhetoric and history. Barbara Strozzi's oeuvre, including over one hundred works of secular vocal chamber music, was almost completely published during her lifetime. Her cantatas are among her most valuable contributions to the 17th-century repertoire.