Gioachino Antonio Rossini (29 February 1792 – 13 November 1868) was an Italian composer who wrote 39 operas, as well as some sacred music, songs, chamber music and piano pieces.

A precocious composer of operas, he made his full debut at the age of eighteen with La cambiale di atrimonio. His best-known operas include the Italian comedies 'Il barbiere di Siviglia' (The Barber of Seville), 'L'italiana in Algeri' (The Italian Girl in Algiers) and 'La Cenerentola' (Cinderella).

A tendency for inspired, song-like melodies is evident throughout his scores, which earned him the nickname "The Italian Mozart." A rapid and prolific composer, he was quoted as joking, "Give me the laundress' bill and I will even set that to music." Use of an exciting buildup of orchestral sound over a repeated phrase (commonly known as a "Rossini crescendo") also prompted the nickname "Signor Crescendo". Until his retirement in 1829, Rossini had been the most popular opera composer in history.

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