- Friedrich Lippmann,
- Mary Ann Smart
- and Simon Maguire
(b Catania, Nov 3, 1801; d Puteaux, nr Paris, Sept 23, 1835). Italian composer. He was a leading figure in early 19th-century opera, noted for his expressive melodies and sensitive approach to text-setting.
Mary Ann Smart
Bellini was born into a musical family in Sicily, the eldest of seven children of Rosario Bellini (1776–1840) and Agata Ferlito (1779–1842). His grandfather, Vincenzo Tobia Bellini (1744–1829), originally from the Abruzzi, had studied in Naples at the Conservatorio di S Onofrio a Capuana, and from 1768 worked as an organist, composer and teacher in Catania. His father, Rosario, was also a composer, maestro di cappella and teacher, although his career was apparently overshadowed by that of Vincenzo Tobia. An anonymous manuscript now in the Museo Belliniano in Catania, almost the sole source of information about Bellini's childhood, tells of prodigious musical feats, but amid its hyperbole the account outlines what was a fairly typical career path for a musically gifted young Italian at this time. Without formal training, the infant Vincenzo reportedly sang an aria by Fioravanti at the age of 18 months, took over from his grandfather as conductor during a church service at three, and by the age of five played the piano expertly. The same chronicler reports a rigorous and well-rounded Classical education, encompassing Latin, Italian literature, philosophy and modern languages, though neither Bellini's correspondence nor his literary instincts later in life show much evidence of such training. He wrote his first composition at six, and the following year began to study composition formally with his grandfather. During his childhood and teenage years, he wrote much sacred music and some secular songs, many of which received local performances....