Great Works Edit
Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Symphony #40, Mvt. 1
Civilopedia Entry Edit
No doubt a child prodigy, Mozart had mastered multiple instruments and given his first public recital at the age of six. Wolfgang was sole-surviving son of Leopold and Maria Mozart; his father was a successful concert master at the Salzburg court. Leopold was devoted to his children and recognized their talents at an early age; he began teaching his daughter Maria Anna the piano when she was seven years old while the three-year-old Mozart watched. Mozart proved the better understudy, and within two years had learned not only the piano, but violin and clarinet as well.
In 1762 AD, Leopold took his talented daughter (age 11) and son (age six) to the court of Bavaria for the first of several “European tours.” Mozart continued to learn new instruments, while Maria Anna became a piano virtuoso. In December 1769, father and son departed for an Italian tour, leaving Maria Anna at home with her mother. While there, young Mozart composed his first musical work, an opera for the court of Milan. Returning to Salzburg in 1773, the teenager was given the post of assistant concert master, but soon enough cast about for a better position, touring Mannheim, Paris, and Munich before settling in Vienna as a freelance performer and composer.
Through the 1780s, Mozart thrived in self-produced and patron-sponsored concerts, often premiering his new works. His effort was prodigious; in one five-week span, he appeared in 22 concerts. And he got married, to Constanze Weber, who would bear him six children. But his pace of production and performance, along with the couple’s extravagant lifestyle – and perhaps his legendary feud with Antonio Salieri – took its toll. His physical and mental health deteriorated suddenly, and in 1791, at the age of 35, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died.
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