Cesare Pugni

Cesare Pugni (Russian: Цезарь Пуни) (; 31 May 1802–26 January 1870) was an Italian composer of ballet music, a pianist and a violinist. In his early career he composed operas, symphonies, and various other forms of orchestral music. Pugni is most noted for the ballets he composed for Her Majesty's Theatre in London (1843–1850), and for the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres in St. Petersburg (1850–1870).

Pugni was among the first composers of ballet music to employ the technique of leitmotif, which he utilized for his score for the ballet Elerz e Zulmida in 1826. Cesare Pugni is the most prolific composer of the of ballet music, having composed close to 100 known original scores for the ballet and adapting or supplementing many other works. He composed a myriad of incidental dances such as divertissements and variations, many of which were added to countless other works.

Of Pugni's original scores for the ballet, he is perhaps best known today for Ondine, ou La Naïade, (also known as La Naïade et le pêcheur) (1843); La Esmeralda (1844); Éoline, ou La Dryade (1845), Catarina, ou La Fille du Bandit (1846); The Pharaoh's Daughter (1862); The Little Humpbacked Horse (1864); and Le Roi Candaule (1868). Of his incidental dances, etc., he is most noted for the Pas de Six from La Vivandière (also known as Markitenka) (1844); the Pas de Quatre (1845); La Carnival de Venise pas de deux (also known as Satanella pas de deux) (1859); the Diane and Actéon Pas de Deux (1868); and his additional music for the ballet Le Corsaire (1863 and 1868).

Read more about Cesare PugniLa Scala, Paris, Her Majesty's Theatre, Russia, Published Sheet Music, Archives, Sources

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