Wolfgang Mozart

Wolfgang Mozart

Austrian composer
Date of Birth: 27.01.1756
Country: Austria

Biography of Wolfgang Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was an Austrian composer born on January 27, 1756 in Salzburg, Austria. His full name at baptism was Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Theophilus, and he was the youngest of seven children. His mother, Maria Anna, was born Pertl, and his father, Leopold Mozart (1719-1787), was a composer and music theorist who served as a violinist in the archbishop's court orchestra in Salzburg.

Wolfgang Mozart

Both Wolfgang and his older sister, Maria Anna, showed remarkable musical talent from an early age. Leopold began giving his daughter piano lessons when she was eight years old, and the music notebook he composed for her in 1759 proved useful in teaching young Wolfgang as well. At the age of three, Mozart could play thirds and sixths on the piano, and by the age of five, he had started composing simple minuets.

In January 1762, Leopold took his prodigious children to Munich, where they performed in the presence of the Bavarian elector. They then traveled to Linz, Passau, and Vienna, where they were received at the court in Schönbrunn Palace and had two audiences with Empress Maria Theresa. This journey marked the beginning of a series of concert tours that lasted for ten years.

In June 1763, Leopold, Nannerl, and Wolfgang embarked on their longest concert tour, returning home to Salzburg only at the end of November 1766. During this tour, Leopold kept a travel diary documenting their performances in Munich, Ludwigsburg, Augsburg, and Schwetzingen. In August, Wolfgang gave a concert in Frankfurt, showcasing his skills on the violin, although not as brilliantly as on the keyboard. In Frankfurt, he performed his violin concerto, which was attended by a 14-year-old Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

They continued their tour to Brussels and Paris, where they spent the entire winter of 1763/1764. The Mozarts were received at the court of Louis XV during the Christmas festivities in Versailles and enjoyed the attention of aristocratic circles throughout the winter. It was during their time in Paris that Wolfgang's four violin sonatas were published for the first time. In April 1764, the family traveled to London and stayed there for over a year. Shortly after their arrival, they were received by King George III. The children gave public concerts, and Wolfgang demonstrated his extraordinary abilities. The composer Johann Christian Bach, a favorite of London society, immediately recognized the young prodigy's immense talent. He would sit Wolfgang on his lap and play keyboard sonatas together, taking turns playing a few measures each, creating the illusion of a single musician. Wolfgang composed his first symphonies while in London.

In July 1765, the family left London and traveled to the Netherlands, where in September, Wolfgang and Nannerl fell seriously ill with pneumonia. Wolfgang's recovery was slow and he didn't fully recover until February. They then continued their tour through Belgium, Paris, Lyon, Geneva, Bern, Zurich, Donaueschingen, Augsburg, and finally Munich, where the elector was once again amazed by the young prodigy's performance. Upon their return to Salzburg on November 30, 1766, Leopold began planning their next trip.

Their journey, which began in September 1767, took them to Vienna, which was then ravaged by a smallpox epidemic. The children contracted the disease in Olomouc, where they had to stay until December. In January 1768, they reached Vienna and were once again received at the court. It was during this time that Wolfgang composed his first opera, "La finta semplice," although it was never performed due to intrigues among Viennese musicians. He also composed his first major choral work, a mass for chorus and orchestra, which was performed at the opening of a church near an orphanage to a large and appreciative audience. He also composed a trumpet concerto, which unfortunately has not survived. On their way back to Salzburg, Wolfgang performed his new symphony (K. 45a) in the Benedictine monastery in Lambach.

Wolfgang's compositions are often referred to by their Köchel number, which is a catalog of his works compiled by Ludwig von Köchel in 1862. Wolfgang composed a wide range of music, including symphonies, divertimentos, church compositions, and string quartets. His symphonies, written in the late 1770s and early 1780s, display a high level of dramatic coherence and emotional depth. His operas, such as "The Abduction from the Seraglio" and "Idomeneo," were highly successful and established him as one of the most talented composers of his time.

Despite his success as a composer, Mozart struggled with financial difficulties throughout his life. He married Constanze Weber against the wishes of his father, and they faced constant financial challenges. However, Mozart's music continued to be popular, and he was highly regarded in Vienna's musical circles. He composed a series of brilliant piano concertos and gave numerous concerts, which were in high demand. In 1784, he gave 22 concerts in a span of six weeks.

In July 1782, Mozart's opera "The Abduction from the Seraglio" premiered in Vienna and was a great success, solidifying his reputation as a leading composer. However, his relationship with the Archbishop of Salzburg deteriorated, and in 1781, Mozart was dismissed from his position. He then moved to Vienna and focused on his career as a freelance composer and performer.

Mozart's last years were marked by financial struggles and declining health. He continued to compose at a prolific pace, but his works received mixed reviews. In 1791, he was commissioned to compose a requiem mass, which he was unable to complete due to his deteriorating health. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died on December 5, 1791, at the age of 35. His cause of death remains unknown.

Despite his short life, Mozart left a lasting legacy of extraordinary music. His compositions continue to be celebrated for their beauty, innovation, and emotional depth. Mozart is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers in the history of Western classical music.