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About Amilcare Ponchielli
Amilcare Ponchielli (1834–1886) was an Italian composer, mainly of opera. Born on 31st August 1834, in Paderno Fasolaro, now Paderno Ponchielli, near Cremona, Ponchielli won a scholarship at the age of nine to study music at the Milan Conservatory, writing his first symphony by the time he was ten years old. Two years after leaving the conservatory he wrote his first opera -- it was based on Alessandro Manzoni's great novel I promessi sposi (The Betrothed) -- and it was as an opera composer that he eventually found fame.