Casa Ricordi is a classical music publishing company founded in 1808 as G. Ricordi & Co. by violinist Giovanni Ricordi (1785–1853) in Milan, Italy. Its classical repertoire represents one of the important sources in the world through its publishing of Rossini, Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi, and Puccini.
In 1825, Giovanni Ricordi purchased the complete musical archives of La Scala and in 1839 he bought the copyright to Giuseppe Verdi's music that marked the beginnings of a long working relationship. During the 1840s, Casa Ricordi grew to be the largest music publisher in southern Europe and in 1842 the company created the musical journal the Gazzetta Musicale di Milano. In 1864 it expanded to Naples and then to Florence (1865), Rome (1871), London (1878), Palermo and in 1888 to Paris.
Until 1919, when outside management was appointed, four generations of Ricordis were at the helm of the company. Its most notable personality was Giulio Ricordi (1840–1912) who was closely involved in the operatic career of Giacomo Puccini but whose interests also extended to composing music, art, design and painting. Under him, the company went into the business of printing advertising posters that were extremely popular throughout Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Ricordi company posters included works by celebrated graphic artists such as Leonetto Cappiello, Luigi Emilio Caldanzano, Ludovico Cavaleri, Marcello Dudovich, Adolfo Hohenstein, Franz Laskoff, Leopoldo Metlicovitz, Giovanni Mario Mataloni, Aleardo Terzi and Aleardo Villa.
During World War II, the company's business premises suffered severe damage from aerial bombardmennt but its collections had already been safely stored away. Following reconstruction after the war, Ricordi was converted to a limited corporation by the family in 1952 and in 1956 it became a publicly traded company.
In 1994, Ricordi was acquired by BMG Music Publishing, which in turn was purchased by Universal Music Publishing Group in 2007. It is now Italy's largest music publisher.
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