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Luigi Cherubini is the great figure of opera at the turn of the 18th century, and as director of the Paris Conservatoire had ernormous influence on the musical life of his time * received first musical training in his native town of Florence, among others by his father, a theatre musician * by a grant of the Great-Duke and later Emperor Leopold II, from 1778 continued his studies for four years with Sarti in Bologna und Milan * starting with but church music, turned the musical stage in 1779 with his Quinto Fabio * from then on composed numerous operas, such as Adriano in Siria (Livorno 1782) and Lo sposo di tre e marito di nessuna (Venedig 1783) * was invitated to London in 1784, where he wrote his opera buffa La Finta Principessa (1785) and was made Royal Court Composer * in 1788 composed the opera seria Ifigenia in Aulide for Torino, before following Viotti’s advise to settle in Paris where he continued to develop operatic compostion with successful works like Démophoon, Lodoïska, Éliza, Médée and Les deux Journées (Le Porteur d’eau) * Napoleon’s contempt temporarily made him renounce his musical activities, respectively to concentrate on composing orchestral and church music (Mass in F, 1809), partially outside of France * 1822 finally became director of the Paris Conservatoire, a post he held for twenty years, during which time he resumed writing many successful works (string quartets, Requiem, counterpoint course)

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