Cesare Pugni

by popularity
Catarina or La Fille du BanditDiavolinaGazeldaLa EsmeraldaLa guerre des femmesLe Violon du DiableOndine, ou La naïadePas de QuatreSerenata in B-flat majorSerenata in D majorThe Little Humpbacked HorseThe Pharaoh's DaughterThéolinda l'orpheline
Cesare Pugni (Italian pronunciation: [ˈtʃeːzare ˈpuɲɲi, ˈtʃɛː-]; Russian: Цезарь Пуни, romanized: Cezar' Puni; 31 May 1802 in Genoa – 26 January [O.S. 14 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 Imperial Theatres in St. Petersburg, Russia (1850–1870). The majority of his ballet music was composed for the works of the ballet master Jules Perrot, who mounted nearly every one of his ballets to scores by Pugni. In 1850 Perrot departed London for Russia, having accepted the position of Premier maître de ballet of the St. Petersburg Imperial Theatres at the behest of Carlotta Grisi, who was engaged as Prima ballerina. Cesare Pugni followed Perrot and Grisi to Russia, and remained in the imperial capital even after Grisi's departure in 1853 and Perrot's departure in 1858. Pugni went on the compose for Perrot's successors Arthur Saint-Léon and Marius Petipa, serving as the Imperial Theatre's official composer of ballet music until his death in 1870. He was also the grandfather of Russian painter Ivan Puni, also known as Iwan Puni and Jean Pougny.
Cesare Pugni was one of the most prolific composers of ballet music, having composed close to 100 known original scores for the ballet and adapting or supplementing many other works. He composed myriad 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 best known today for Ondine, ou La Naïade, (also known as La Naïade et le pêcheur) (1843); La Esmeralda (1844); Catarina, ou La Fille du Bandit (1846); The Pharaoh's Daughter (1862); and The Little Humpbacked Horse (1864). 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).