Costa, Michael, 1808-1884

Alternative names
Birth 1808-02-04
Death 1884-04-29
English, French, Italian

Biographical notes:

Sir Michael Costa was an Italian-English conductor and composer of operas.

From the guide to the Contract : London, 1844 Feb. 14, (The New York Public Library. Music Division.)

Italian-English composer and conductor.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : 55 Eccleston Square, [London], to Arthur Sullivan, 1862 Apr. 6. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270125570

Michael Costa, English conductor and composer of Italian birth, became director of music in 1832 and conductor of Italian opera in 1833 at King's Theatre, London. It was renamed Her Majesty's Theatre under the ownership of Benjamin Lumley. Costa resigned in 1846 and took 53 of the 80-member orchestra to Covent Garden Theatre where he founded the Royal Italian Opera, and served as conductor of the Philharmonic Society, 1846- 1854. He returned to Her Majesty's Theatre in 1868, serving as musical director, 1871-1881, when it merged with Covent Garden. He enjoyed a nationwide reputation as a conductor of oratorios, and composed operas, ballets, and oratorios. He was knighted in 1869.

From the description of Contract with Her Majesty's Theatre, and letter from B. Lumley, 1843 and 1856. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 35051229

English conductor and composer of Italian birth.

From the description of Autograph letters signed (8, one torn with loss of text), dated : London, 1861-1873, to Richard Peyton, 1861 Mar. 20. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270564667

From the description of Autograph letter signed, dated : [London], 18 January 1869, to Mr. [J.W.?] Davison, 1869 Jan. 18. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270564663

From the description of Autograph letter signed, dated : [London], 31 October, 1848, to Mr. [Henry?] Phillips, 1848 Oct. 31. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270564674

From the description of [Album leaf] : autograph manuscript, 1837 June 10. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270941826

Epithet: composer

Title: Knight

British Library Archives and Manuscripts Catalogue : Person : Description : ark:/81055/vdc_100000000208.0x0001c2


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  • Strathspeys
  • /Waltzes
  • Orchestral music--Scores
  • Choruses (Mixed voices, 4 parts) with instrumental ensemble--Scores
  • Band music, Arranged--Parts
  • Musical sketches
  • Piano music
  • Vocal duets with orchestra--Parts
  • Composers--Correspondence
  • Reels (Music)


  • Composers


  • South Africa, Africa (as recorded)
  • Ireland, Europe (as recorded)