Antonio Salieri

1750 (Legnano, Italy) – 1825 (Vienna)

Da Ponte wrote libretti for a number of Salieri’s operas. Beethoven, Czerny, Liszt, Hummel, Moscheles, Meyerbeer, Süssmayr and Schubert were all students of his – an exceptional list. Gluck was both patron and friend, and Metastasio an acquaintance. Fellow-composers in Vienna included Haydn and Mozart, who collaborated with Salieri on one piece (now lost). There is little evidence of the animosity popularly supposed to have characterised his relationship with Mozart; the fact that Mozart engaged him to teach his son may indeed happily suggest that it is a fiction.