Gioachino Rossini was an Italian composer known mainly for his 39 operas. Born in Pesaro to a family of professional musicians, Rossini wrote his first works at the age of 12 and was educated at a musical school in Bologna. His first opera, La cambiale di matrimonio, was staged when he was just 18 years old, and by his early twenties he was working full-time as an opera composer in Naples. Over the next decade or so he wrote 34 operas that were performed across Italy. Many of his works, however, involved a certain amount of self-borrowing and formulas, though this did not impact their popularity.
In the last 40 or so years of his life, Rossini wrote relatively little. It is not known exactly why this was the case; factors may have included ill health, his vast wealth that he had already accumulated, or changes in the world of opera. In the last few years of his life he wrote a handful of chamber and orchestral works, and was known for hosting musical events for the artistic elite of Paris. He died in Paris in 1868.