An Italian composer, son of Michele Puccini and fifth in a line of composers from Lucca. After studying music with his uncle, Fortunato Magi, and with the director of the Insituto Musicale Pacini, Carlo Angeloni, he started his career at the age of fourteen as an organist of St. Martino and St. Michele, Lucca, and at other local churches. However, a performance of Verdi's "Aida" at Pisa in 1876 made such an impression on him he decided to become an opera composer. With a scholarship and financial support from an uncle, he was able to enter the Milan Conservatory in 1880. During his three years there, his chief teachers were Bazzini and Ponchielli.Punccini's best known operas are: "Le villi" (1884), "Edgar" (1889), "Manon Lescaut" (1893), "La Boheme" (1896), "Tosca" (1900), "Madama Butterfly" (1904), "La fanciulla del West" (1910), "La rondine" (1917), "Il trittico", and "Turnadot" (1926).During the composition of "Turnadot", he was diagnosed with throat cancer, and died after receiving treatment in Brussles. "Turnadot" was left unfinished, but was completed by Franco Alfano.