Gioacchino Rossini (1792 - 1868)
Gallop from Overture to William Tell
Rossini's father was a trumpet player and inspector of slaughter houses in the district and his mother an opera singer. Luckily he chose music as a career, rather than abattoirs. Between 1810 and 1829 he wrote 16 operas, which gained him great fame and wealth. When he had enough of both, he stopped composing operas, and only wrote a few pieces for his own amusement ("The sins of my old age" he once called them) in the remaining 40 years of his life.
William Tell is the last of his operas, and is based on the story of the Swiss hero, famous for his skill with the crossbow. But this music is also known for its role in a T.V. series of many years ago - The Lone Ranger.