Cherubini, Luigi Carlo Zenobio Salvatore Maria

Cherubini, Luigi Carlo Zenobio Salvatore Maria


Born Sept. 8 (or 14), 1760, in Florence; died Mar. 15, 1842, in Paris. Composer; Italian by nationality. Member of the Institute of France (1815).

Cherubini completed his musical education in Bologna under G. Sarti. In 1778 his first opera, Quinto Fabio, was performed in Alessandria. Cherubini worked in London between 1784 and 1786 and then settled in Paris. During the Great French Revolution he wrote music for public occasions and funeral ceremonies (Hymn to the Pantheon and Hymn to Brotherhood) and marches for the National Guard band. On the day of its founding in 1795, Cherubini was named an inspecteur des études and teacher at the Paris Conservatory (from 1816, professor); in 1822 he became its director.

Cherubini’s operas are a synthesis of the best national traditions of the Italian opera and the dramatic principles set forth by C. Gluck. He was a founder of a new musical and dramatic genre—the rescue opera. His operas include Lodoïska, (1791), Elisa (1794), Médée (1797), and Les Deux Journées (1800; known in Russia as The Water Carrier). An innovative artist, Cherubini experienced a deep crisis during the Restoration and the July Monarchy. Only a few works of that period, chiefly his religious compositions, equaled those written during the years of the revolution.


Radige, A. Frantsuzskie muzykanty epokhi Velikoi Frantsuzskoi revoliutsii. Moscow, 1934. (Translated from French.)
Aleksandrova, V. “Luidzhi Kerubini.” Sovetskaia muzyka, 1960, no. 10.