Although there is some question about the specific date in October 1813 that he was born, Giuseppe Fortuninto Francesco Verdi celebrated his birthday as October 9. He was born at his parent’s home in Le Roncole, a village near Busseto. His parents Carlo and Luigia were listed on his baptismal register as an “innkeeper” and a “spinner.” He was their oldest child and had a younger sister who died at age 17.
Verdi began his education at age 4 with private Latin and Italian lesson by the local schoolmaster and entered the school at age 6. His “gift for music was already apparent at age 7 when he sang in the church choir and started taking organ lessons. When he was 8 years old his old school master died, and Verdi “became the official paid organist.”
Verdi’s parents came from families of landowners and traders and were of moderate means. They were always supportive of him and gave him ample opportunities to develop his musical talents. When he showed an interest in music by learning to play the organ, they purchased a spinet for him. They arranged for various educational opportunities for him. He, however, later claimed that they were “illiterate peasants” who did little for him. He later broke off his relationship with his parents, although he did arrange for their financial resettlement.
Verdi was an Italian opera composer who dominated the Italian opera scene. His works were influenced Bellini, Donizetti, and Rossini. His masterpieces include his opera Aida (1871), his Requiem (1874), his opera Othello (1887), and his opera Falstaff (1893). His most popular operas include Rigoletto, Il trovatore and La traviata.
Verdi was married twice. His first spouse was Margherita Barezi (m. 1836-1840, and his second wife was Giuseppina Strepponi (m. 1859-1897). He died in Milan, Italy, on January 27, 1901.