The following appeared on one of the early music mailing lists in March 1999.
From: David Fallows
I think this is perhaps of general interest. Many list members will know
about it already; but it's fairly exciting.
Last summer, in their article in The Journal Of Musicology, Lora Matthews
and Paul Merkley produced information that definitively demonstrated that
the singer Josquin in Milan, 1459 - about 1482, was NOT Josquin des Prez,
but another man who died in 1498; as we know about his death-date from
documents concerning the succession to the benefice at Gozzano, which we
know the Milan singer held.
For 45 years the supposed birthdate of Josquin was based on 'his'
appearance in Milan in 1459, at which point 'he' was evidently a grown
man. It always looked wrong.
With the elimination of those early Milan years, Josquin's life looks
entirely different. The earliest documentation for him as a musician now
goes back to 1475 -- Matthews and Merkley again, last weekend at Duke
University -- at the court of King Rene of Anjou.
There is still no clear evidence of a birthdate for Josquin des Prez. But
it seems reasonable to suppose that he was roughly the same age as Obrecht
-- born apparently 1456-7 -- and that he was a relatively young man when
he first appears at Rene's court in 1475. I'd go for about 1455; more
cautious souls are saying nearer 1450.
But it IS an amazing development, which effectively means we need to
reconsider the whole picture of Josquin.