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Antonio Salieri


About this Artist

One of the most successful European composers of the late 18th century, Antonio Salieri (1750-1825) was active in all spheres of musical life but was known, above all, as an opera composer. Salieri went to Vienna as a teenager in 1766. He found success there, eventually rising to the post of Imperial Court Composer at the Habsburg court in Vienna, which he held from 1788 until his retirement in 1824. In that capacity, he was responsible for sacred music and secular music at court, as well as for opera; he composed over 40 works for the stage between 1768 and 1804. He was also crucial in promoting the works of other composers; favorites included contemporaries such as Joseph and Michael Haydn and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (in whose death he played no part, though the story made good dramatic fodder for Peter Shaffer's Amadeus) as well as younger composers such as his pupils Beethoven and Schubert.