Antonio Salieri

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Salieri, Antonio

(äntô`nyō sälyā`rē), 1750–1825, Italian composer and conductor. He received his first training in Italy, going afterward (1766) to Vienna, where he remained as conductor of the opera and later (1788–1824) as court conductor to Joseph II, the emperor of Austria. He was a friend of Haydn, and he taught Beethoven, Schubert, and Liszt. Mozart, however, distrusted him and believed that Salieri tried to poison him. Though Mozart's claim was never substantiated, a play by Aleksandr Pushkin, Mozart and Salieri (1830); an opera by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Mozart et Salieri (1898); and a play by Peter Shaffer, Amadeus (1979; filmed 1984) have depicted Salieri as treacherously jealous of Mozart's genius. The most successful of his 43 operas were Les Danaïdes (1784) and Tarare (1787). He also wrote instrumental pieces and church music.


See biography by V. Braunbehrens and E. L. Kanes (1992); study by J. A. Rice (1999).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Salieri, Antonio


Born Aug. 18, 1750, in Legnago, near Verona; died May 7, 1825, in Vienna. Italian composer, conductor, and teacher.

In 1766, Salieri settled in Vienna, where he became court composer in 1774 and Kapellmeister in 1788. He directed the Italian opera company until 1790 and the court choir until 1824. He wrote many operas, including Armida (1771) and Europa riconosciuta (1778, for the opening of La Scala in Milan), oratorios, and instrumental works. Salieri was close to C. W. Gluck, who worked with him on the Paris production of Salieri’s opera Les Danaïdes (1784). Among Salieri’s students were Beethoven, Schubert, and Liszt. According to a legend, Salieri poisoned Mozart; this myth was the basis of A. S. Pushkin’s “little tragedy” Mozart and Salieri.


Shteinpress, B. “Mif ob ispovedi Sal’eri.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1963, no. 7.
Shteinpress, B. “13 legend bo Antonio Sal’eri.” Muzykal’naia zhizn’, 1963, no. 23.
Shteinpress, B. “Sal’eri segodnia.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1975, no. 3.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Mosel's Salieri biography Uber des Leben und die Werke des Anton Salieri [Vienna: J.