Giuseppe Verdi began by studying the organ at a young age and by 7 became the organist at San Michele Arcangelo parish Church. Verdi was born October 10, 1813 at Le Roncole in the Duchy of Parma.
After Verdi was rejected by the Milan Conservatory he began studying composition in Milan with Vincenzo Lavigna, a composer and maestro al cembalo at La Scala. Lavigna instructed Verdi in counterpoint and helped him get to know Milan. After two years Verdi returned to Busseto as members of the Philharmonic campaigned to have him appointed head of the Philharmonic (Cordell, Tim: Edinboro University).
He was named Maestro di Musica on March 5,1836 at Busseto. Acknowledged as the greatest composer Italy ever produced, many of the Arias from Verdi’s Operas are well known melodies (see link below for samples) still enjoyed today.
When Verdi died in 1901 he was admired, revered, and acknowledged as the greatest composer Italy had ever produced. His works had almost completely monopolized the Italian operatic scene for most of the nineteenth century, and his style was to influence the emerging verismo school of Italian opera (The Internet Public Library).
Verdi also became a symbol of Italian patriotism and the slogan VIVA VERDI (Verdi being an acronym for Vittorio Emanuele Re D'Italia) was used to symbolize the favorite among Italians to be king of a united Italy (Cordell, Tim: Edinboro University).