Composer Spotlight: Gaetano Donizetti



Spotlight on the Sinfonia for Winds in G minor

Katherine Lacy, Principal Clarinet of the RPO says: ‘What I am most looking forward to is opening our concert with Donizetti’s Sinfonia, or ‘Symphony for Winds’. This piece could only have been written by an Italian operatic composer – Donizetti wrote over 70 operas altogether! Just like a Rossini overture, it is full of drama, excitement and humour, as well as, of course, beautifully lyrical, singing phrases that are so well-suited to woodwind instruments.’



Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848) was one of the leading figures in Italian opera in the early half of the nineteenth century. He produced an enormous number of crowd-pleasing operas in a short period, including his best-known works L’elisir d’amore, Lucia di Lammermoor and La Fille du Régiment, and his music undoubtedly influenced fellow Italian composer, Giuseppe Verdi. Beyond the world of opera though, his musical output was also vast, writing in many different forms from string quartets and symphonies to concertos and songs. His intense music is full of unforgettable melodies, infused with human drama and often has an expressive lyrical quality.


More music to explore…

Listen out for comic opera Don Pasquale, the String Quartet No.17 in D major and the cantata Aristea.


Gaetano Donizetti’s Sinfonia for Winds in G minor was performed on Wed 14 Oct 2020, 1.15pm at Cadogan Hall.


Discover other composers featured in the Spotlight Series here.