Juan Hidalgo de Polanco
Juan Hidalgo de Polanco was a Spanish composer and harpist. Hidalgo was born and died in Madrid. In either 1630 or 1631 he became a harpist at the Spanish royal chapel where he was responsible for the accompaniment of both sacred and secular music. Around 1645 he began to serve as leader of the court's chamber musicians and chief composer of villancicos, chamber songs, and music for the theatre. Hidalgo became the most influential composer of his time in the Hispanic world. He dominated secular and theatrical music at the Spanish court until his death. He was a prolific composer and enjoyed a great deal of popularity throughout his career. His place in Spanish theatre history is equivalent to that of Henry Purcell in Britain and Lully in France. He wrote music for at least nine allegorical religious plays that were performed in public for Corpus Christi. His work for the court stages included songs for 16 spoken plays, many partly sung zarzuelas and semi-operas, and two full operas which are highly regarded. His output also included a large number of sacred villancicos and some liturgical music.