Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
This paper discusses Mozart's life, his compositions and his importance to the world and the world of music. It explains how Mozart's music is still some of the most popular classical music played today and his life is still studied because his music is so well known and liked.
An Austrian composer and performer who showed astonishing precocity as a child and was an adult virtuoso, musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born to Leopold Mozart and Anna Maria Pertl in Salzburg, Austria on January 27, 1756. Leopold Mozart was a successful composer and violinist and served as assistant concertmaster at the Salzburg court. Mozart and his older sister Maria Anna "Nannerl" were the couple's only surviving children and their musical education began at a very young age. The archbishop of the Salzburg court, Sigismund von Schrattenbach was very supportive of the Mozart children's remarkable activities.
By the time Mozart was five years old, he began composing minuets. The next year, he and his sister were taken to Munich and Vienna to play a series of concert tours. Both children played the harpsichord, but Mozart had also mastered the violin. In 1763, when Mozart was seven years old, his father took leave of his position at the Salzburg court to take the family on an extended concert tour of western Europe. Mozart and his sister performed in the major musical centers, including Stuttgart, Mannheim, Mainz, Frankfurt, Brussels, Paris, London, and Amsterdam. They did not return to Salzburg until 1766. 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.
After spending less than a year in Salzburg, the family again departed for Vienna, where Mozart completed his first opera La finta semplice in 1768. Much to Leopold's frustration, the opera was not performed until the following year in Salzburg. Shortly thereafter, Mozart was appointed honorary Konzertmeister at the Salzburg court.
In 1769, father and son traveled to Italy and toured for more than a year in Rome, Milan, Florence, Naples, and Bologna. While in Italy, Mozart completed another opera, Mitridate, re di Ponto, received a papal audience, passed admission tests to the Accademia Filarmonica, and performed many concerts. Mozart then returned to Salzburg, but traveled to Italy for two shorter journeys in October 1771 and October 1772 through March 1773. During this time he completed...