Rossini's father was sympathetic to the French Revolution and welcomed Napoleon's troops when they arrived in northern Italy.
When Austria restored the old regime, Rossini's father was sent to prison in 1799, where he remained until June 1800.
In Angelo Tesei, he found a congenial music master, and learned to sight-read, play accompaniments on the piano and sing well enough to take solo parts in the church when he was ten years of age.Around this time, he composed individual numbers to a libretto by Vincenza Mombelli called Demetrio e Polibio, which was handed to the boy in pieces.Though it was Rossini's first opera, written when he was thirteen or fourteen, the work was not staged until the composer was twenty years old, premiering as his sixth official opera.The opera semiseria La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie) has one of Rossini's most celebrated overtures.
After moving to Paris in 1824, he began to set French librettos to music.
Important products of this period are six sonate a quattro, or string sonatas, composed in three days, unusually scored for two violins, cello and double bass.