Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mozart is perhaps the greatest musical genius who ever lived. Mozart 's full name

is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Most people called him Mozart or Wolfgang. Mozart was

born in Salzburg, Austria, January 27, 1756. 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. At age five Mozart was composing music and by age six he had mastered the keyboard. By his early teens, he had mastered the piano, violin, and harpsichord. He began composing minuets at the age of 5 and symphonies at age 9. In 1762, Mozart and his elder sister Maria Anna (best known as Nannerl) who was also a gifted keyboard player, were taken by their father on a short performing tour, of the courts at Vienna and Munich. Encouraged by their reception, they embarked the next year on a longer tour, including two weeks at Versailles, where the children enchanted Louis XV. In 1764 they arrived in London. Here Mozart wrote his first three symphonies, under the influence of Johann Christian Bach, youngest son of Johann Sebastian, who lived in the city. In Paris, Mozart published his first works:four sonatas for clavier: with accompanying violin in 1764. After their return to Salzburg there followed three trips to Italy between 1769 and 1773.

In 1768 he composed his first opera, LA FINTA SEMPLICE, for Vienna; but

conflicts prevented its performance, and it was first presented a year later at Salzburg.

Mozart was a successful composer and violinist. He used the form of concerto (like the

Symphony, in several section) to display the qualities of wind instruments, like the horn.

His crowning achievements in concerto form, however, are for piano and orchestra - in

all 25 works. Mozart's performances of his own piano concertos had much to do with the

development of the instrument.

In 1770, he began to ...

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...him to ask Mozart to compose a Requiem Mass - a Mass for the Dead. But the nobleman wished to pass the music off as his own. Mozart agreed, not knowing the strangers true intention.

Mozart may had died of a number of illnesses. The official diagnosis was miliary fever, but the truth is that the physicians who attended him were never quite sure what Mozart died of. He suffered from rheumatic pain, headaches, toothaches, skin eruptions, and lethargy. A common theory today is that Mozart died of uremia following chronic kidney disease. Regardless of the cause, Mozart became bedridden for the last two weeks of his life. He died at shortly after midnight on December 5th, 1791, aged thirty-five years, eleven months, and nine days.


Einstein, Alfred. Mozart, His Character, His Work. New York, 1962.

Knepler, Georg. Wolfgang Amadé Mozart. Cambridge, 1994.

Landon, H.C. Robbins. 1791: Mozart's Last Year. New York, 1988.

Steve Boerner. The Mozart Project, Revised December 20, 2000

? . The Mozart Story,

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