Vaccai, Nicola , Italian composer and singing teacher; b. Tolentino, March 15,1790; d. Pesaro, Aug. 5,1848. He went to Rome as a youth and took lessons in counterpoint with Jannaconi, then studied with Paisiello in Naples (from 1812). He was a singing teacher in Venice (1818-21), Trieste (1821-23), and in Frohsdorf, near Wiener Neustadt (1822). He taught in Paris (1830) and in England (1830-33) before returning to Italy; later became vice censore at the Milan Cons., assuming the post of censore in 1838; in 1844 he retired to Pesaro. Although he found little success as a composer for the theater, he won distinction as a singing teacher; his Metodo pratico di canto italiano per camera diviso in 15 lezioni, ossiano Solfeggi progressivi ed elementari sopra parole di Metastasio (London, 1832) became a standard work in its field. Among his operas were Pietro il Grande, ossia Un geloso ali tortura (Parma, Jan. 17, 1824), La Pastorella feudataria (Turin, Sept. 18, 1824), and Giulietta e Romeo,after Shakespeare (Milan, Oct. 31,1825), the last scene of which was often used in performances of Bellini’s I Capuletti e i Montecchi. He also composed much vocal music, including sacred works, cantatas, and over 100 chamber pieces.
G. Vaccai, La vita di N. V. scritta dal figlio Giulio con prefazione del professore A. Biaggi (Bologna, 1882).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire