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date: 06 June 2020

Bellini, Vincenzo locked

  • 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....

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London, British Library
Venice, Teatro La Fenice, Archivio Storico-Musicale
La musica: enciclopedia storica
19th Century Music
Oxford, Bodleian Library
Analecta musicologica
Catania, Museo Civico Belliniano, Biblioteca
Washington, DC, Library of Congress, Music Division
Palermo, Biblioteca Comunale
New York, Pierpont Morgan Library
Moulins, Bibliothèque Municipale
Nuova rivista musicale italiana
Rassegna musicale
Naples, Conservatorio di Musica S Pietro a Majella, Biblioteca
Revue musicale
Journal of the American Musicological Society
Opera Quarterly
Bologna, Accademia Filarmonica, Archivio
Cambridge Opera Journal
Catania, Biblioteche Riunite Civica e Antonio Ursino Recupero
Rivista italiana di musicologia
Early Romantic Opera
Milan, Biblioteca della Casa Ricordi
Enciclopedia dello spettacolo
Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, Dipartimento Musica
Milan, Conservatorio di Musica Giuseppe Verdi, Biblioteca
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France
Rivista musicale italiana
Genoa, Civico Istituto Mazziniano, Biblioteca
Muzikološki zbornik
Florilège du concert vocal de la Renaissance
Rome, Conservatorio di Musica S Cecilia
Music & Letters