Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart the incredible 18th century Austrian composer of the Classical era. A child prodigy, he lived a full but short life, nevertheless creating over 600 compositions.
Born: 27 January 1756, Salzburg, Austria.
Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Father: Leopold Mozart, violinist, assistant concertmaster.
Mother: Maria Anna Walburga Ignatia
Siblings: Maria Anna (nicknamed Nannerl)
Wife: Costanze Weber
Children: six, only two of which survived infancy: Karl Thomas and Franz Xaver Wolfgang
Died: Vienna 5 December 1791
Grave: Was buried in an unmarked pauper's grave in Zentralfriedhof , Vienna ,later moved but exact location uncertain.
Cause of death: Various theories including poisoning by the composer Salieri. Most probably however rheumatic fever was the cause.
In his short life he produced over 600 works including:
* 41 symphonies
* 27 piano concertos
* 19 piano sonatas
* 16 operas
* chamber music
* orchestral pieces
A website with stamps from all over the world issued for his 250th anniversary.
Age 3: Began harpsichord lessons.
Age 5: 1761 First public performance on keyboard.
Age 6: Appearances with his sister Nannerl as child prodigies at the courts of Munich and Vienna.
Age 7-10: Tour of Europe (including London and Paris) with his father and sister. Composes his first symphonies and sonatas.
Age 12: Composes a Mass and his first opera 'La Finta Semplice'
Age 14: Visits Roma and Milan.
Age 16: Appointed Concert Master at Salzburg cathedral.
Age 18-20: In Salzburg, composes 4 violin concertos, Masses, Serenatas and the opera 'La Finta Giardiniera'.
Age 21: Wolfgang and his father sacked by the archbishop. Goes on tour with his mother. Falls in love with a singer, Aloysia Weber, but she dumps him. Goes to Paris.
Age 22: In Paris his mother dies. He composes ballets and a symphony but fails to maintain his popularity.
Age 23: Returns to Salzburg
Age 25: After being sacked by the Archbishop he stays with the Weber family in Vienna and falls in love with Aloysia's sister Costanze.
Age 26: Works as a freelance musicianin Vienna.
Began his series of piano concertos.
Age 30-31: Operas Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni premiered in Prague.
Beethoven arrives in Vienna to study with him.
Age 32: In spite of his phenomenal output of compositions his financial position deteriorates (possibly because of gambling debts and spending on posh clothes) and he has to borrow money.
Age 35: Commissioned to compose a Requiem.
Composes 'The Magic Flute' a great success.
Suffers from severe depression and imagines he has been poisoned.
Dies on December 5th, the day after rehearsing the Requiem.
He was buried in an unmarked grave.
- "Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius."
- I pay no attention whatever to anybody's praise or blame. I simply follow my own feelings.
- Nor do I hear in my imagination the parts successively, I hear them all at once. What a delight this is! All this inventing, this producing, takes place in a pleasing, lively dream.
- "My fatherland has always the first claim on me."
- "It is a mistake to think that the practice of my art has become easy to me. I assure you, dear friend, no one has given so much care to the study of composition as I. There is scarcely a famous master in music whose works I have not frequently and diligently studied."
- "I cannot write poetically, for I am no poet. I cannot artfully arrange my phrases so as to give light and shade. Neither am I a painter; nor can I even express my thoughts by gesture and pantomine, for I am no dancer. But I can do so in sounds. I am a musician.
Amadeus - trailer
His sister Nannerl was also a very gifted musician and together with Wolfgang formed a successful brother and sister act which toured Europe with their father Leopold.
Owing to customs of the times her talents were not allowed to flourish. Read more about herhere at Wikipedia.
A biopic about her was released in 2011. Here is the trailer:
See more Films about composers
International Mozarteum Foundation
Mozart and the Keyboard Culture of his time by Cornell University
The Official Weblog of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The Mozart Effect