Antonio Salieri Biography
Thanks to Pushkin and Rimsky-Korsakov, as well as Shaffer and the film Amadeus, Salieri has been cast as the villain in the tragedy of Mozart's early death. Antonio Salieri occupied a position of great importance in the music of Vienna. From 1774 he was court composer and conductor of the Italian opera, serving as court Kapellmeister from 1788 until 1824. Born in Legnago, he was brought as a boy to Vienna by Florian Gassmann, his predecessor as court Kapellmeister who supervised his musical training and education. He owed much to the influence and patronage of Gluck, to whom he seemed a natural successor in the field of opera. He won similar success to the latter also in Paris with his operas for the French stage. His pupils included Beethoven and Schubert, Czerny, Hummel, Moscheles and one of Mozart's sons.