Giacomo Puccini (also known as Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria) was born in Lucca on December 22, 1858 to a family with longstanding musical traditions in his hometown (Julian Budden). Considered one of the most successful Italian operatic composers, Puccini began learning music from his uncle Fortunato Magi at the age of five following his father’s death (Budden). His love for music continued well into his teenage years and in 1874, at the age of sixteen, he studied at the Istituto Musicale Pacini with Carlo Angeloni (Budden). Two years later, Puccini attended a performance of Verdi’s Aida and discovered his true love for opera (Budden). He showed so much potential that the Queen of Italy and a relative gave him money to attend the Milan Conservatory (Budden). He was accepted to the school, even though he was ever the age limit and he scored so well on his entrance exams that he was placed into a senior-level composition class (Budden). At the Conservatory, Puccini studied with the famous violinist and composer, Antonio Bazzini; during Bazzini’s tutelage, an inspired Puccini composed a Mendelssohn-esque string quartet that was lost (only one movement survives) (Budden). Upon graduation in 1883, Puccini composed the Capriccio sinfonico, which would later act as the opening theme for his ...
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