WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART BIOGRAPHY
BIRTH: January 27, 1756
DEATH: December 5, 1791
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a popular and prolific music composer of the classical period. He has created over 600 compositions that include sonatas, symphonies, operas, cham- ber music and concertos.
Mozart was born on 27th January, 1756 to Leopold Mozart and Anna Maria Pertl. Leopold was musically inclined. He was an author who wrote about violin playing, a composer and was a part of the court of the archbishop of Salzburg.
Leopold Mozart taught music and academics to his children. Wolfgang Mozart started with the violin and harpsichord. Later, he also played other musical instruments such as the piano and organ.
Wolfgang gave his first musical performance at the age of six in the Bavarian court in Munich. Wolfgang and his sister, Nannerl, went on to perform in the courts of London, Paris, Zurich and The Hague. In 1764 and 1765, Mozart was accepted as a member of Accademia Filarmonica in Bolongo despite the normal rule requiring candidates to be twenty years old. He was also commissioned to write a new opera at this time for the court of Milan.
At the age of seventeen, Wolfgang Mozart was made an assistant concert-master at Salzburg by Prince Archbishop Hieronymus von Colloredo. Mozart wrote five violin concertos during this time. These are the only five he would compose in his lifetime. He then shifted his focus to piano concertos.
In 1777, Wolfgang Mozart resigned from his position at the court of Salzburg. He went on trips to Munich, Augsburg, Paris and Mann- heim. Mozart did find several employment opportunities but nothing promising. He was in debt and had to pawn goods in order to meet his expenses. In 1778, Mozart’s mother, Anna Maria, died. The next year, Wolfgang went back to Salzburg, where his father had acquired him a position at the court as an organist.
Wolfgang Mozart wrote an opera for Munich, Idomeneo in 1781. In March of the same year, Mozart was summoned to Vienna by Archbishop von Colloredo. Mozart was treated like a servant and extremely underpaid. He felt disrespected and resigned from his post. He began composing the opera Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio). This opera was premiered on 16th July, 1782. He also gave performances as a pianist. Mozart married Constanze Weber on 4th August, 1782. They had six children, but only two children, Karl Thomas and Franz Xaver, survived.
Johannes Sebastian Bach and George Frederic Handel inspired Mozart to work with the Baroque style of composition. In 1783, Mozart went to visit his home at Salzburg with his family. At this time, he composed a mass in C minor. “Kyrie” and “Gloria” were its first two and only completed sections.
Mozart composed six quartets dedicated to Joseph Haydn from 1782 to 1785. In 1786, he collaborated with the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte to produce the operas, The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni. These are considered to be two of his most important works. Both the operas are appreciated for bringing a connection between music and drama. Mozart had also started keeping a catalogue of his compositions.
Emperor Joseph II appointed Mozart as his chamber composer in the December of 1787. As a chamber composer Mozart only had to compose dances for annual balls. The Austro-Turkish war of 1786 created financial crisis for Mozart and his family. The Austrian royalty was focusing on war, and the patronage of art declined. Due to this economic situation, Mozart shifted with his family to Alsergrund. During this period, Mozart composed his last three symphonies (39, 40, 41) and the last of the three Da Ponte operas. He would borrow money from his friends, mainly Mason Michael Puchberg, to meet the expenses.
1790-91 are considered to be his most productive years. He composed the opera The Magical Flute at this time. He also created a piano concerto in B-flat, clarinet concerto in A major and an unfinished Requiem K.626. He was able to survive due to some wealthy patrons.
His mental and physical health began to deteriorate in the September of 1791. On 5th December, 1791, he passed away at the age of thirty-five. The cause of his death remains undetermined.