The transition from the Ancien Régime to modernity implied major changes both in the composer’s social and professional standing and the spaces in which music was heard. The musician as servant would become a free composer and he would move from the private salon to the concert hall. But the need to capture applause, understood as a metaphor for winning over patrons, critics and the audience, is still a common form of building a career as a composer. And the duel became the most effective vehicle: the confrontation of two composer-performers who subjected their talent to the audience’s immediate opinion, risking the success of their future initiatives. This series reconstructs four famous duels involving four pairs of composers who, at a particular moment in their careers, were compelled to publicly compete for the audience’s approval.