Piccinni, Niccolò Vincenzo

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Piccinni, Niccolò Vincenzo


Born Jan. 16, 1728, in Bari; died May 7, 1800, in Passy, near Paris. Italian composer; representative of the Neapolitan school of opera.

Piccinni composed many operas (sometimes two or three on the same plot). He won fame and recognition for the comic opera La Cecchina, ossia La buona figliuola (libretto, C. Goldoni, based on S. Richardson’s novel Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded; staged 1760, Rome). The work heralded the new, lyric sentimental trend in comic opera. In 1776, Piccinni was invited to Paris by the opponents of C. W. Gluck’s work. Adherents of operatic traditions, they were engaged in a musical and social conflict, which, on the artistic level, ended in victory for Gluck and his followers. (The conflict came to be known as the “war between the Gluckists and Piccinists.”) Later, Piccinni’s work was influenced by Gluck.

From 1784 to 1789, Piccinni was a professor at the Ecole Royale de Musique in Paris. He worked in Naples from 1789 to 1797. In 1798 he became inspector of the Paris Conservatory. In addition to operas, he wrote two symphonies, instrumental works, and church music.


Materialy i dokumenty po istorii muzyki, vol. 2. Translated and edited by M. V. Ivanov-Boretskii. Moscow, 1934.
Delia Corte, A. Piccinni. Bari, 1928.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.