Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi (15 May 1567 (baptized) -- 29 November 1643) was an Italian composer, gambist, and singer.
Monteverdi's work, often regarded as revolutionary, marked the transition from the Renaissance style of music to that of the Baroque period. He developed two individual styles of composition -- the heritage of Renaissance polyphony and the new basso continuo technique of the Baroque. Monteverdi wrote one of the earliest operas, L'Orfeo, an innovative work that is still regularly performed. He was recognized as an innovative composer and enjoyed considerable fame in his lifetime.