Esmeralda Cesare Pugni was born in Genoa on 31 May 1802, and studied in Milan from 1815 to 1822 with Antonio Rollo and Bonifazio Asioli. He made his debut as a composer at La Scala in 1826 with the opera Elerz e Zulmida. He became a cymbalist in the theatre orchestra, and on the death of Vincenzo Lavigna was appointed musical director. He later moved to Paris where he became director of the Paganini Institute. There he met the great choreographers of the time and started an artistic collaboration that was to prove one of the most productive in the history of ballet. He began working closely wi.