Fortunati, Gian Francesco
- Gian Paolo Minardi
(b Parma, Feb 27, 1746; d Parma, Dec 20, 1821). Italian composer and conductor. After moving with his father to Piacenza, he began his musical studies under Omobono Nicolini. With financial assistance from the ducal court he was able to travel to Bologna where from 1767 to 1769 he completed his studies under Padre Martini. On his return to Parma in 1769 his first opera, I cacciatori e la vendilatte, was staged and well received. Subsequently he succeeded Traetta as maestro di cappella there and, in 1774, was entrusted with the direction of the singing school, succeeding Francesco Poncini. In 1780 he became conductor of the orchestra at the ducal theatre, a position which he held until 1796. In 1787 he was appointed music instructor to the duke's daughters. He made several journeys to Germany, on the recommendation of Maria Amalia, Duchess of Parma, to superintend performances of his operas; some of his vocal and instrumental music was thus written in Dresden and Berlin for Friedrich Wilhelm II. He retained his musical posts in Parma until the death of Duke Ferdinand II in ...