February 29, 1792; his father was Giuseppe Rossini, a trumpeter and his mother was Anna Guidarini, a singer.
November 13, 1868 in Passy, near Paris, France
Also Known As:
Gioachino Antonio Rossini was his full name. He was an Italian composer known for his comic operas. He was also a conductor and accompanist. He was married to the operatic singer Isabella Colbran. After Colbran died in 1847, Rossini married Olympe Pélissier.
Type of Compositions:
He wrote operas, especially opera buffa and opera seria. He also wrote a cantata, La morte di Didone (1811), to honor the Mombelli family who were very helpful to him. Rossini also wrote an oratorio, Ciro in Babilonia, and choral music such as the Stabat Mater and Petite messe solennelle.
Both his parents influenced him; his father being a trumpeter and his mother a singer. Rossini was exposed to the theatre at a young age and at 14 entered Bologna's Philharmonic School. He composed his first opera seria while there called Demetrio e Polibio. Aside from playing different musical instruments such as the harpsichord, horn and violin, Rossini also sang to earn extra money.
His works include: "The Barber of Seville" (Il barbiere di Siviglia - 1816), "Cinderella" (La cenerentola - 1817), "Semiramide" (1823), "William Tell" (Guillaume Tell - 1829), "L'equivoca stravagante" (1811), "La pietra del paragone" (1812), "Il signor Bruschino" (1813), "Tancredi" (1813), "Petite messe solenelle" and "Elisabetta, regina d'Inghilterra" (1815), to name a few.
Rossini's most productive years were between 1810 and 1822 when he wrote serious operas like Ottelo and comic operas like L'italiana in Algeri.
Rossini retired a wealthy man and was known to give lavish dinners attended by notable names in music during the 19th century. Richard Wagner paid Rossini a visit and afterward, Wagner wrote “A Memory of Rossini," an essay about their conversation. Rossini also loved to cook and even invented a dish called tournedos Rossini.
Music sheet for Ranz des vaches (William Tell Overture) by Gioachino Rossini.
Listen to the overture of "The Barber of Seville" courtesy of YouTube.