Nicolle des Celliers de Hesdin

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Born: c. 1500

Died: 21 Aug 1538


“French composer. The name Hesdin – none of the sources for his music identifies him further – probably indicates his place of birth. Speculations on his identity and career by Fétis and Huber appear to have no documentary foundation. The only record of his full name comes from the epitaph on his tomb in Beauvais Cathedral, where he served as master of the choirboys from at least 1536 until his death. The opening words of the epitaph – ‘Atropos … thinking to have robbed Hesdin too early of his life’ – suggest that he died young, which could explain the rather modest size of his output. His music began to circulate in the late 1520s; by 1533 he had acquired sufficient reputation for Lanfranco (Scintille di musica) to place him alongside Costanzo Festa, Jacquet of Mantua and Willaert as one of the eminent ‘moderni’. Since the others mentioned by Lanfranco all worked in Italy at the time, it seems conceivable that Hesdin too spent some of his career there.” —Grove Music Online

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