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Born: 1760, Florence, ItalyDied: 1842, Paris, France

The son of a keyboard player and opera musician, Cherubini began composing in his early teens. He had successful careers in Italy and London before settling in Paris, where he triumphed – with personal and professional vagaries – during all of the regime changes from Bourbons through the Revolution, Napoleon, and the Restoration. He was a prolific composer of powerfully dramatic operas and sacred music, as well as a conductor, teacher, administrator, and publisher, dominating Parisian musical life for half a century.

Further listening:Medea (opera, 1797) Maria Callas, Fedora Barbieri, Gino Penno; LA Scala Orchestra and Chorus, Leonard Bernstein (EMI Classics)

Requiem in C minor (1816)Ambrosian Singers, Philharmonia, Riccardo Muti (EMI Classics)