Profile of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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Estrella, Espie. "Profile of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart." ThoughtCo, May. 13, 2017, thoughtco.com/profile-of-wolfgang-amadeus-mozart-2456103. Estrella, Espie. (2017, May 13). Profile of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/profile-of-wolfgang-amadeus-mozart-2456103 Estrella, Espie. "Profile of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/profile-of-wolfgang-amadeus-mozart-2456103 (accessed October 17, 2017).
1870 Engraving of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Getty images

Born January 27, 1756; he was the seventh child of Leopold (a violinist and composer) and Anna Maria. The couple had 7 children but only two survived; the fourth child, Maria Anna Walburga Ignatia, and the seventh child, Wolfgang Amadeus.

Birthplace:

Salzburg, Austria

Died:

December 5, 1791 in Vienna. After writing "The Magic Flute," Wolfgang became ill. He died in the early morning of December 5 at the age of 35.

Some researchers say it was due to kidney failure.

Also Known As:

Mozart is one of the most important classical composers in history. He worked as Kapellmeister for the archbishop of Salzburg. In 1781, he requested release from his duties and started working freelance.

Type of Compositions:

He wrote concertos, operas, oratorios, quartets, symphonies and chamber, vocal and choral music. He wrote over 600 compositions.

Influence:

Mozart's father was a huge influence on the budding musician. At age 3, Wolfgang was already playing the piano and had perfect pitch. By the age of 5, Mozart already wrote a miniature allegro (K. 1b) and andante (K. 1a). When Wolfgang was 6, Leopold decided to take him and his sister, Maria Anna (who was also a music prodigy), on tour to Europe. The young musicians performed at various locations such as royal courts where queens, emperors and other prestigious guests were in attendance.

Other Influences:

The Mozarts' popularity grew and soon they were traveling to perform in France, England, and Germany. While traveling, Wolfgang met Johann Christian Bach and other composers who would later influence his compositions. He studied counterpoint with Giovanni Battista Martini. He met and became friends with Franz Joseph Haydn.

At 14, he wrote his first opera called Mitridate re di Ponto which was well-received. By late teens, Wolfgang's popularity waned and he was forced to accept jobs that didn't pay well.

Notable Works:

His works include "Paris Symphony," "Commotion Mass," "Missa Solemnis," "Post Horn Serenade," "Sinfonia Concertante" (for violin, viola and orchestra), "Requiem Mass," "Haffner," "Prague," "Linz," "Jupiter," operas like "Idomeneo," "The Abduction from the Seraglio," "Don Giovanni," "The Marriage of Figaro," "La Clemenza di Tito," "Cosi fan tutte" and "The Magic Flute."

Interesting Facts:

Wolfgang's second name was actually Theophilus but he opted to use the Latin translation Amadeus. He married Constanze Weber in July of 1782. He could play the piano, organ and violin.

Mozart was a gifted musician who was capable of hearing complete pieces in his head. His music had simple melodies yet rich orchestration.

Music Sample:

Listen to Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" courtesy of YouTube.