Anchieta, Juan de

Updated on 23/07/2021
Other names
Ancheta, Anxeta
first doc. 1489-d. 1523

Recent studies on the composer put his date of birth back to c. 1450. In 1489 he was appointed as a singer and chaplain at the Castilian royal chapel, later becoming Prince Juan's chapelmaster (1478). After the prince's death in 1497, Anchieta continued at the service of his widow Margaret of Austria for the two years that she remained in Spain. After Queen Isabella's death in 1504, Anchieta joined the chapel of her daughter's Joana as a singer and chaplain. They travelled to Flanders and stayed there for two years. Joana resettled in Spain in 1506, with Anchieta at her service until 1512. He was then transferred to the Aragonese royal chapel (while still receiving payment from the Castilian chapel). After Ferdinand's death in 1516, he sought support from Charles V, who confirmed his Castilian salary despite his absence from the court. This closed his successful career at the service of Spanish royals, which brought him ever-raising salaries and multiple prebends. He spent his last years from 1519 in Azpeitia, near his home town, amid long-lived family quarrels that included attacks and assassinations. They have become notorious as Anchieta was Ignatius de Loyola's first cousin once removed.

Anchieta's biography has been often reimagined. The different historiographical layers that converge in his biography have been disentangled in Knighton and Kreitner (2019).

Aizpurúa Zalacaín, Pedro, “Anchieta, Juan de”, in Diccionario de la música española e hispanoamericana, ed. by Emilio Casares Rodicio, 10 vol. (Madrid: Sociedad General de Autores y Editores, 1999–2002), i, 429-30
Knighton, Tess, and Kenneth Kreitner, The Music of Juan de Anchieta (Abingdon: Routledge, 2019)
Kreitner, Kenneth, “Juan de Anchieta and the Rest of the World”, in Queen Isabel I of Castile: Power, Patronage, Persona, ed. by Barbara F. Weissberger (Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 2008) pp. 169-85
Ruiz Jiménez, Juan, “La generación de Juan de Anchieta y Francisco de Peñalosa”, in Historia de la música española e hispanoamericana. II: De los Reyes Católicos a Felipe II (Madrid: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 2012) pp. 367-76
Stevenson, Robert, Spanish Music in the Age of Columbus (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1960), pp. 127-45
External references