Paer, Ferdinando

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Paer, Ferdinando (b Parma, 1771; d Paris, 1839). It. composer. Orig. violinist but gave it up for comp. First opera prod. Parma 1791, then went as cond. to Venice where he wrote several more light operas. Worked in Vienna 1797–1802. Became Kapellmeister at Dresden 1802 and wrote Leonora (1804), on same plot as Beethoven was to use in Fidelio in 1805. In 1807 went to Paris as cond. of Opéra-Comique and maître de chapelle to Napoleon I. Succeeded Spontini 1812 as dir. of Théâtre-Italien. Dismissed 1827, becoming cond. of royal chamber mus. 1832. Wrote 53 operas, also oratorios, masses, cantatas, and numerous instr. works.