• Composer of the Week:  Gioachino Rossini
    Gioachino Rossini was an Italian opera composer born in Pesaro, Italy in 1792.  His parents were not professional musicians, but had musical training and were active in performing.  He played the triangle in his father’s musical groups as early as age 6, and studied music from that point on.  However, he actually trained to be a blacksmith as he got older.  In his spare time, he took lessons with a local “music master” (like a private teacher) and sang with the church.  He performed solos as early as age 10.  By 13 or 14, he was writing operas and performing on piano as well as the French horn.

    Rossini is known for his operas.  In an opera, all of the dialogue is sung instead of spoken.  There are also instrumental pieces where no singing takes place.   His most famous piece is actually the overture (opening piece) for the opera “William Tell.”  The piece is often simply known as “The William Tell Overture” and stands on its own as a famous piece of music.   Rossini was known for his song-like melodies and energetic music.  He was the most famous opera composer of the time, and had a great love and respect for Mozart and Haydn’s music.

    The end of Rossini’s career is odd in that he “retired” in 1832 and composed only sparingly until his death in 1868 (at the time, people didn’t usually retire, as they do today).  He wrote nearly 40 operas and dozens of other pieces for orchestra, as well as solo piano. 


     Map of Pesaro, Italy

    The Music of Gioachino Rossini