We often forget that gift and skill do not always result in fame, fortune, or a memory. Some of our most gifted composers were largely forgotten after their deaths. I think first of Bach in this regard but not only Bach, also a composer to greatly influenced Bach -- Antonio Lucio Vivaldi.
Born into a musical family on March 4, 1678, in Venice, Italy, Antonio Vivaldi was to end up as a priest whose musical genius was the fruit of a life spent mostly in an orphanage. He composed hundreds of works and is well known today though it was not always so. On July 28, 1741, he died in poverty and was buried, oddly enough, in a funeral service devoid of music.
That said, Vivaldi's success as composer and musician did not translate into great financial success or long memory. When he left Venice for Vienna, other composers and musicians had already caught the public eye. Without a patron after the death of Charles VI, Vivaldi died in poverty in Vienna on July 28, 1741, and was buried in a simple grave after a funeral service without music.
It was not until the early 20th century that interest in Vivaldi's music was rekindled and his scores rescued from obscurity. Alfredo Casella organized a Vivaldi Week in 1939 and following WWII the world rediscovered this musical genius. His Gloria remains a staple of Christmas celebrations -- just a few of his nearly hundreds of compositions that attest to his skill and gift.