Albert de Rippe (Alberto da Ripa) (c. 1500–1551) was an Italian lutenist and composer. He was known variously as: Alberto da Mantova, Alberto Mantovano, Alberto da Ripa, Albert de Rebe, Albert de Mantoue, Albert Ripae and Albert de Rippe. He was born in Ripa di Suzzara in the province of Mantua but the date remains unclear. Some scholars place it around the period of 1470-1480, others, and perhaps more likely, suggest 1500. He worked in Mantua before 1528, when he left for France. There, he joined the court of Francis I. De Rippe was evidently held in great esteem at the court, as his annual salary was double that of any other lutenist, and he also frequently received gifts of land, money, wine, etc., and various other benefits. He only published three works during his lifetime, but six volumes of his music were published posthumously by his pupil, Guillaume de Morlaye. That edition was titled, and is now sometimes referred to as, tab(u)lature de leut.
The name of 17th-century violin maker Antonio Stradivari - or Stradivarius as he is usually known - is one that sends shivers down the spine of music lovers the world over. During his lifetime Stradivari made over 1,000 instruments, about 650 of which still survive. Their sound is legendary and for any violinist the opportunity to play one is a great privilege. Clemency Burton-Hill indulges in her lifelong passion for the instrument as she explores the mysterious life and lasting influence of Stradivari - through four special violins on display at this summer's Stradivarius exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. She is joined by 2002 Young Musician of the Year winner Jennifer Pike to put some of the violins in the exhibition through their paces.