Salieri, Antonio

Salieri, Antonio äntôˈnyō sälyāˈrē [key], 1750–1825, Italian composer and conductor. He received his first training in Italy, going afterward (1766) to Vienna, where he remained as conductor of the opera and later (1788–1824) as court conductor to Joseph II, the emperor of Austria. He was a friend of Haydn, and he taught Beethoven, Schubert, and Liszt. Mozart, however, distrusted him and believed that Salieri tried to poison him. Though Mozart's claim was never substantiated, a play by Aleksandr Pushkin, Mozart and Salieri (1830); an opera by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Mozart et Salieri (1898); and a play by Peter Shaffer, Amadeus (1979; filmed 1984) have depicted Salieri as treacherously jealous of Mozart's genius. The most successful of his 43 operas were Les Danaïdes (1784) and Tarare (1787). He also wrote instrumental pieces and church music.

See biography by V. Braunbehrens and E. L. Kanes (1992); study by J. A. Rice (1999).

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