Home            Rossini
The Barber of Seville - A Holiday Presentation (December 2012 - January 2013), and Le Comte Ory (January - February 2013), performed by the Metropolitan Opera
Rossini's Mass performed by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, 27/04/13
Rossini - Petite Messe Solennelle by Harrogate Choral Society, 10/11/12
Rossini, published in 1971, was Harding's only biography about an Italian composer.
Reviews of Rossini
"The composer's personality, times and music are concisely, proportionally and realistically presented." Kirkus Reviews

The book
Much of Rossini's life (1792 - 1868) was lived within the atmosphere of the theatre and it is the theatrical and temperamental character of the composer which Harding so vividly recreates.  Even Rossini's funeral was a piece of theatre with over four thousand mourners crowding into the church.  However, Rossini was not only the creator of Figaro's wit, the glitter of Cinderella and the polished high spirits of Count Ory; with William Tell and his religious works, the lovingly matured inspiration of old age, Rossini became a musician worthy of being classed among the greatest.  Together with the many illustrations and the music examples, which have been specially prepared for pianists of modest ability, this is a fascinating introduction to one of the great composers of opera. 
The man
Rossini was a leap year baby born, on the 29th February 1792, into a family that had once been aristocratic but whose wealth and reputation had dwindled long before the end of the eighteenth century.  Never a great pupil, Rossini embarked on his career at the age of eighteen, intuitively aware that he had absorbed all the academic grounding his genius needed.  Rossini's career as a composer is one of the most dazzling in the history of opera.  The combination of brilliant musical invention and lively sense of humour resulted in a talent for composition which was quickly recognised.  By the age of thirty the operas William Tell and The Barber of Seville were already well known and Rossini's position as a composer was firmly established.