Gioacchino Rossini was born in Pesaro on February 29, 1792. His father Giuseppe Antonio, "public trumpet player" of the municipality of Pesaro, to increase earnings plays the horn in theatrical events. The mother Anna Gualdarini, singer, makes a short theatrical career in various Emilian cities.
In 1802, after the transfer of the family to Lugo di Ravenna, the young Gioacchino studied in the house of the Malerbi brothers who introduced him to the music of Mozart and Haydn. In 1804, at the age of twelve, Rossini composed the six "Sonatas a quattro" for violins, cello and double bass. In 1806 he entered the musical high school in Bologna, under the careful guidance of Father Mattei. It comes out able to play the viola and other stringed instruments, the harpsichord and the piano; it is also perfected in song. His theatrical debut is overwhelming. From his debut in 1810 at the San Moisè in Venice with "La cambiale di matrimonio" to 1823, the year in which he ended the Italian phase of his career with "Semiramide", Rossini represented over thirty works including buffe, series and semi-serious, dominating the scene without rivals. In 1813 he begins the phase of his artistic maturity. In that year he produced two authentic masterpieces, "Tancredi" and "L'italiana in Algeri", followed by "Il Turco in Italia" in 1814, "Il barbiere di Siviglia" in 1816, and "La Cenerentola" in 1817 .
Rossini's fame soon crossed the national borders. The conquest of the European market starts from Vienna, a square traditionally favorable to the Italian operatic expansion, and ends in Paris, notoriously the most difficult conquest for Italian musicians due to the presence of a strong national opera house. In the foreign experience, however, Rossini's position is reversed: as an innovator in Italy he becomes conservative in Europe, in contact with the innovations introduced by German romanticism also in the theatrical field.
The profound meaning of his art manifests itself in the attachment to the ideals of life of the "ancien régime", and against him he not only throws the artistic impatience of the "novices" like Berlioz, but also the instinctive political hostility of the patriots. and the liberals. In this context the staging of "William Tell", in 1829, represents the extreme point of Rossini's adaptation to the "new", in order to regain control of a situation that escapes him, "manifesting - as he wrote the Fétis - a new man in the same man ". But Rossini is attacked with all the force of his habits to the old world that sets. Faced with the aggressive invasion of new times, he feels a sense of dismay at the haste, the breathlessness and the growing intensity of life: his health is undermined by a deep nervous depression. The long silence in which it takes refuge is therefore a no to romanticism and new times. If during the first years of his retreat Rossini commits himself generously to facilitate the affirmation of his compatriots in Paris, especially Bellini and Donizetti, in the long run his presence ends up weighing on the development of Italian music.
In 1863 he produced "La Petite messe solennelle", which he orchestrated in 1867, with which he finally overcame many of the problems he posed during the years of "silence". The extremely daring solutions show a new timbric conception of sound that directly anticipates that of the twentieth century, bypassing that romantic experience to which Rossini has never been able to fully adapt. The great Italian composer dies in his villa in Passy, in the Parisian countryside, on November 13, 1868.
In 1887 his body was moved to the church of Santa Croce in Florence. The rediscovery of Rossini's authentic message and the re-evaluation of his modernity began only in the twentieth century.