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Antonio Salieri (August 18, 1750 - May 7, 1825), born in Legnano, Italy, was a
composer and conductor who received considerable public acclaim in his day.
After displaying exceptional musical talent as a child during his training, he was
invited in 1766 to attend the court of Vienna. He remained in Vienna for the
remainder of his life, and in 1788 was appointed the court composer, a position
he retained until 1824.
During his time in Vienna he acquired great prestige as a composer and
conductor, particularly of opera, and also of chamber and sacred music. The
most successful of his 43 operas were Les Dana•des (1784) and Tarare (1787).
He attained an elevated social standing, and frequently associated with
other celebrated composers such as Joseph Haydn. As children, Beethoven,
Schubert and Liszt all benefitted from his tutelage.
Salieri is best-known for the mutual antipathy he shared with Mozart; the
latter creating a public scandal in 1790s Vienna by accusing Salieri of
plagiarism and of attempting to murder him with poison. None of the charges
were ever substantiated, although the opera by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov,
Mozart et Salieri (1898) and the play by Peter Shaffer, Amadeus (1979; an
Oscar winning original film was released in 1984, and "Director's Cut" was
released on 2001 with an additional 20 minutes of footage) both painted
Salieri as deeply jealous of, and highly treacherous towards Mozart.