Johannes Ockeghem

Franco-Flemish Renaissance composer and singer Johannes Ockeghem was born at Saint-Ghislain, Hainaut, probably in about 1410 but possibly as late as 1430, and began his career as a chorister.

By 1443 he was singing at the Roman Catholic cathedral in Antwerp. It's likely that he studied with Gilles Binchois. From 1446-48 he was a singing chaplain at Moulins, and by 1452 he was in Paris, working at the French court as maestro di cappella, and also with notable positions elsewhere in the city. He visited Spain in 1470 as part of a diplomatic mission, and he died in Tours on 6 February 1497, probably aged eighty-six or eighty-seven. By that time he was well-known throughout Europe. He and his colleague Antoine Busnois were the leading composers of the second half of the fifteenth century.

Although his compositional output is small for someone with such a long life and career, his output includes many settings of the Mass, including the important Missa prolationum from sometime later than 1450, probably based on his own earlier material, and entirely canonical in form.


A selection of articles about Johannes Ockeghem

Classical music news. October 2023 Newsletter - Watch and listen to our October 2023 one hour video newsletter - Classical Music and Artificial Intelligence

Record Box. Magical and Sensitive - A recording by the National Youth Choir of Great Britain inspires Patric Standford

Ensemble. Old and new - The first public appearance of a new chamber choir, reviewed by Mike Wheeler