Luigi Cherubini (1760–1842) was an Italian composer who spent most of his working life in France. Although his music is not well known today, it was greatly admired in his time. Beethoven regarded him as the greatest of his contemporaries. Cherubini was born Maria Luigi Carlo Zenobio Salvatore Cherubini on 14th September 1760 in Florence. His instruction in music began at the age of six with his father, himself a musician. By the age of thirteen he had composed several religious works. From 1778 to 1780, he studied music in Bologna and Milan.