(1750—1825) Italian composer
(b Legnano, 1750; d Vienna, 1825).
It. composer and conductor. Taken to Vienna 1766 as protégé of Gassmann. Début as cond. Vienna Court Opera 1770 and in next 4 years had 9 operas prod. Comp. and mus. dir. It. opera in Vienna from 1774. Back in It. 1778–80, writing comic operas for Milan, Venice, and Rome. Succeeded Gluck at Paris Opéra 1784–8. Court cond. Vienna 1788–1824 (of choral concerts only after 1790). Was hostile to Mozart, but there is no truth in legend that he poisoned him (as is depicted in Rimsky‐Korsakov's Mozart and Salieri). Taught Beethoven, Schubert, and Liszt. Wrote over 40 operas, incl. Prima la musica, poi le parole (1786), Tarare (1787), Axur (1788, reworking of Tarare), Palmira (1795), and Falstaff (1798); 4 oratorios, much church mus., and many vocal and instr. pieces.