Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Mozart, an Austrian composer
is considered one of the greatest and most creative musical geniuses of
all time. Mozart was a young and exciting musician who saw the world
like no other.
On January 27, 1756 in Salzburg, Austria,
Mozart was born. He was the son of composer, musical author, and violinist,
Liopold Mozart. His real name was Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Theophilus.
His last name in Latin is Amadeus. He used Wolfgang and Amadeus in his
signature so he became known by these two names.
At age four, Mozart began studying
keyboard. His father, his only teacher, also taught him mathematics, Latin
and German. He was composing music at 5 and quickly mastered the violin.
Mozart was six when his father took him to Vienna where he played for the
Austrian emperor and was introduced to the public as a child prodigy.
When Mozart was 8, his father took
him to Paris where four violin sonatas were published. The child prodigy
played the harpsichord and also performed as a violinist and an organist.
He visited London and played for King George III. While in London, he met
Johann Christian Bach, who had a great influence on Mozart's first symphonies.
In the year of 1767 while in Vienna,
Mozart wrote an opera buffa. La finita semplice was a comedy opera
written for the emperor. When he returned to Salzburg in 1768, he became
honorary concertmaster for the Arch Bishop. While in Paris in 1778 he composed
a set of variations for piano. By the time he was 25, he had visited most
of the great European cities.
In 1782, Mozart married Constanze
Weber, the cousin of the composer Carl Maria von Weber. Though they were
very poor, these years spent with Constanze were important. It was during
this time that he composed three of his greatest operas, Don Giovanni,
The Marriage of Figaro, and The Magic Flute. In 1785, after becoming
friends with Franz Joseph Haydn, Mozart composed 6 string quartets and
dedicated them to him. Unlike any other composer in music history,
Mozart wrote in every medium of musical composition of his day and excelled
in every one.
During Mozart's last years, he was
plagued with financial and health problems. His final work, The Requiem,
was not completed when he died. He died in Vienna on December 5, 1791,
and was buried in an unmarked paupers grave. In spite of his hardships
and disappointments, much of Mozart's music is cheerful and vigorous. Mozart
left behind more than 600 works.
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