Rossini’s connection with Pesaro
Rossini was born in Pesaro in 1792 to parents who were musicians. The family was forced to leave the town five years later as a result of his father’s political activity during the Napoleonic occupation of Pesaro. Although Rossini never returned to live there (much of his life being spent in France or in Bologna) he retained strong links with Pesaro and when he died in 1868 he left most of his money to the Town Council to establish a free music school.
The legacy was used to build the town’s Conservatory of Music (Conservatorio Statale di Musica) which today has around 850 full time students as well as training teachers and holding musical master classes. It also enabled the creation of the Fondazione Rossini, which is dedicated to the study of music and to the recovery and performance of Rossini’s lesser known works.
Visitors to Pesaro can walk into the courtyard of the Conservatory with its statue of Rossini. They can also see the Teatro Rossini and the Casa Rossini. The theatre was built as the Teatro Nuovo in 1818 and opened to a performance of Rossini’s La Gazza Ladra (The Thieving Magpie) conducted by the composer himself. It was renamed in honour of Rossini in 1854. The Casa Rossini, on the town’s main street, is the house in which Rossini was born and is now open as a musuem. In the basement of the house you can enjoy a video recording of performances from the summer opera festival.