c. 1488 - 1558
About Benedictus Appenzeller
He was probably born somewhere in the southern portion of the Netherlands, and his approximate birthdate is inferred from a document late in his life, dated July 1558, in which he gave his age as "over 70". Appenzeller is first mentioned in cathedral records in 1518, when he is a singer, and in 1519, when he became choirmaster at the cathedral of St. Jacob in Bruges. His several publications during the following years show that he was active then as a composer, but nothing is known of his actual whereabouts or employment until 1536, when Mary of Hungary (Mary Habsburg, daughter of Philip I and Joanna the Mad of Castile) brought him into her Brussels chapel as a singer. By the next year he had become the master of the choirboys – the one responsible for teaching them music, and caring for them – and he was to hold this position, or its equivalent, until either 1551 or 1555. While he spent most of this time in Brussels, he also occasionally traveled with Mary through the Habsburg lands, as it was common for the singers of the musical chapels to accompany monarchs and members of royal families. Some of the places he is known to have visited include 's-Hertogenbosch, Augsburg, and Munich. Mary went to Spain in 1555, and at that time Appenzeller became the choirmaster at the church of Ste. Gudule in Brussels, a post he held until the end of 1558. No records survive of his life from after that year, and he may have died shortly thereafter.