His father, Leopold, perhaps the greatest influence on Mozart's life, was the vice Kapellmeister (assistant choir director) to the Archbishop of Salzburg at the time of Mozart's birth. Mozart was actually christened as "Joannes Chrysotomus Wolfgangus Theophilus," but adopted the Latin term "Amadeus" as his name of choice. Mozart was one of seven children born to Leopold and Anna, however, only one other sibling survived. By the age of four it was evident that he possessed tremendous musical talent and music memory. His father, a master violinist and composer, decided to enroll young Wolfgang in harpsichord lessons.
He was offered the chance to go to Italy and go on all sorts of musical adventures. Mozart of course accepted and he and his father set off the Italy! In Verona Mozart was put through rigorous tests and was then offered the job to write an opera for an upcoming carnival. Mozart of course accepted but the carnival was not for some time. So, Mozart continued to travel and even got to hear Miserere of Gregorio Allegri by the Sistine Choir (somehow he even memorized it).
During this time, Mozart continued to compose, completing his first symphony at age nine and publishing his first sonatas the same year. Leopold soon realized that he could make a substantial income by showcasing his son as a Wunderkind in the courts of Europe. Maria Anna was a talented pianist, and Mozart wrote a number of piano pieces, in particular duets and pieces for two pianos, to play with her. On one occasion when Mozart became ill, Leopold expressed more concern over the loss of income than over Mozart himself. The cold weather and constant travel may have contributed to his later illness.
Together with his sister Nannerl, Wolfgang received very intense training that by the age of six, he was a budding composer and accomplished musician. In 1762, his father presented his son as a performer to the imperial court in Vienna, and from 1763 to 1766, he took both children on a musical tour across Europe ( Crane Arizona Opera ). Wolfgang became the most celebrated child prodigy of his time as a keyboard performer with a great impression too, as a composer and improviser. Wolfgang adapted quickly to the high lifestyle through engagements with the French and English royal families, playing before the Bavarian elector and Austrian empress, to winning the admiration of so eminent a musicians as Johann Christian Bach (1735-1782). In 1766-1773, Wolfgang made three visits to Italy, and spent time in Vienna and Salzburg.
1996 eLibrary. Web. 27 Jan. 2014.