Giuseppe Verdi was one of the best-known opera composers to have emerged out of Italy in the Romantic period. Born near Busseto in 1813 to a family of moderate means, Verdi received his musical education with the help of a local patron. In his early career, Verdi demonstrated sympathy towards the movement seeking the unification of Italy, and even participated briefly as an elected politician, leading Verdi’s music to be popularly associated with Italian unification.
Aside from opera, Verdi wrote few other works, though his Requiem of 1874 is one of his rare non-opera works that has remained popular to this day. His String Quartet is the only surviving piece of chamber music by the composer, and a number of his sacred works are still heard.