Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) was a prolific composer, especially of operas. Whilst he is most famous for the operas, his orchestral writing is creative, tuneful, and full of masterly orchestration.
He was born in 1792 in Pesaro, Italy, into a musical family. He started writing operas at the age of 15. He composed fast! Between 1810 and 1822 he produced an enormous number of operas, most only taking him a few weeks to write. Important examples include Semiramide, Il Barbiere di Seviglia = The Barber of Seville, La Gazza Ladra = The Thieving Magpie, and Guillaume Tell = William Tell.
One of the characteristics of his opera overtures is his crescendos, which start quietly and slowly, and over a fairly long period get whipped up into a furious climax, only to subside, and then be repeated with a different orchestration. They are named after him Rossinian crescendos.
In 1822 - 1823 Rossini travelled extensively in Europe, firstly to Vienna where he met Beethoven, then to Paris, and then to England where he stayed for 8 months, enjoying huge popular success.
In 1836, he fairly abruptly retired from composition. He soon moved to Paris, France, where he entertained his friends and ate sumptuous meals He invented Tournedos Rossini! In this later period he did eventually compose a few items, including Petite Messe Solonnelle =Liitle Solemn Mass, and some piano pieces called Péchés de Vieilleuse. = Sins of my old age. He died in Paris in 1868.