Salieri Circus Award | The Musician

Antonio Salieri

Antonio Salieri (Legnago 1750 - Vienna 1825) was a composer of sacred, classical, lyric music and a conductor. Violin student with Giuseppe Tartini, when he was a teenager Salieri moved with his brother Francesco first to Padua and then to Venice to study counterpoint at Giovanni Pescetti's school. In Venice he met Leopoldo Gassmann, Kapellmeister in Vienna, who invited him to the court of Joseph II of Habsburg in 1770.

In the same year Salieri made his debut with the opera "Le Donne letterate", which was well welcomed. He repeated the success with "Armida" performed the following year and in 1773 he composed two concertos for piano, a concert for organ and a concerto for flute, oboe and orchestra. In 1774, after the death of Gassmann, Salieri assumed the role of Kapellmeister and then Composer at the Imperial Hapsburg Court in Vienna. The Empress Maria Theresa of Austria commissioned him, for the inauguration of the New Regio Ducal Theater (now Teatro alla Scala in Milan) "Europa riconosciuta" which was performed on 3 August 1778.

That composition took him to the highest levels of notoriety and was considered, for over a decade among the most famous and important composers in Europe. In his career, he had as students future musicians some of them destined for fame, such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Shubert, Liszt, Czerny and Hummel. Among his pupils there was also the last of the six sons of Amadeus Mozart, Franz Xavier Wolfgang. A talented musician, Salieri was involved in underground palace maneuvers due to the rivalry with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He was accused of plagiarism (if not murder) but, according to some modern musical historians, it may have been Mozart who plagiarized Salieri, in more than one circumstance.