Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756 in Salzburg, a little town in north central Austria, to Leopold and Anna Maria Mozart. His father Leopold was a composer, violinist, and concertmaster at the archiepiscopal court.
  • A Child Prodigy

    A Child Prodigy
    At the age of 3, Mozart began playing the keyboard, and began playing the violin by age 6.
  • A Young Composer

    A Young Composer
    Mozart began composing music when he was only 5 years old. His first dated composition is titled Allegro in F (K. 1c), from "Nannerl's Music Book." Between 1761 and 1766, Mozart composed over 600 works. A majority of his compositions were classical sonatas, concertos, symphonies and minuets to be played primarily by keyboard, violin, and harpsichord
  • The Grand Tour

    The Grand Tour
    Mozart and his family depart from Salzburg to tour throughout Europe. He and his sister Nannerl, who is five years his senior, performed for the nobility in Munich, Brussels, Cologne, Paris, London, and Hague. Their tour in Europe lasted 3 years, 5 months, and 20 days.
  • Mozart's First Symphony

    Mozart's First Symphony
    Mozart's father Leopold contracts a serious illness while in London. While his father was recovering, Mozart took this time to write his Symphony No. 1 in E Flat Major, K.16. Mozart was only 8 years old.
  • Apollo et Hyacinthus, K.38

    Apollo et Hyacinthus, K.38
    At age 11, Mozart composed his first true opera, Apollo et Hyancinthus K.38. It was performed for the first time at the Benedictine University, Salzburg. The opera is in three acts, and is based upon Greek mythology as told by Roman poet Ovid in his masterwork Metamorphoses.
  • Concertmaster

    At only 13 years old, Mozart was appointed Third Concertmaster to the Salzburg court orchestra. The position was unpaid.
  • Amazing Musical Talents

    Amazing Musical Talents
    Mozart and his father Leopold arrive in Rome during a thunderstorm, on the Wednesday of Holy Week. In the afternoon, they go to the Sistine Chapel where they hear Gregorio Allegri’s "Miserere," which he later transcribed from memory.
  • The Accademia Filarmonica

    The Accademia Filarmonica
    To further study composition, Mozart took an exam required for entry in the pretigious Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna, a music education institution established in 1666. Mozart's task was to compose a four-part composition based on a bit of Gregorian Chant, respecting the rules of polyphonic style laid out by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. It is said that Mozart competed the task in 30 minutes. The academicians on his jury panel unanimously voted to accept him to the academy.
  • A Paid Gig

    At age 16, Mozart is granted a salary of 150 florins for the position of second Concertmaster in Salzburg.
  • In Search of Fortune Elsewhere

    Mozart, now 21 years old, petitions Archbishop Colloredo to be dismissed from his position as Concertmaster at the Salzburg court so that he may seek his fortune elsewhere. A few weeks later, Mozart is dismissed by Archbishop Colloredo, and he travels to Munich with his mother, Anna Maria, in search of work. When he arrives, he finds there is no work available for him, and he and his mother make their way to Augsburg. With no luck in Augsburg, they make their way to Mannheim.
  • The Death of Anna Maria

    The Death of Anna Maria
    When Munich, Augsburg, and Mannheim proved unfruitful, Mozart and his mother travel to Paris. In June, Anna Maria becomes ill with what is likely typhoid fever, and succumbs to her illness one month later.
  • An Opportunity Back Home

    An Opportunity Back Home
    Leopold, aware of Mozart's struggle to find work, writes to inform him that the position of court organist in Salzburg is open.
  • Court Organist

    Court Organist
    Mozart, now 22, returned home and is named to the position of court organist by the Archbishop of Salzburg.
  • Idomeneo, K. 366

    Idomeneo, K. 366
    Leopold and Nannerl arrive in Munich for the premiere of Mozart's Idomeneo, K. 366, an Italian opera seria. The premiere was very successful, and in March, Mozart was summoned to Vienna where Archbishop Colloredo was attending the celebrations for the accession of Joseph II to the Austrian throne. Mozart was offended when Colloredo treated him as a mere servant and forbade him to perform before the Emperor at Countess Thun's for a fee equal to half of his yearly salary.
  • With a Kick in the Arse

    After repeated arguments with Archbishop Colloredo, the Chief Steward of the Archbishop, Count Arco, notifies Mozart that he is discharged from the service of His Eminence “with a kick on the arse, by order of our worthy Prince Archbishop.” Mozart moves to Vienna, supporting himself by working as a freelance composer, a piano virtuoso performing his own compositions, and a teacher.
  • Mozart's Wedding Day

    Mozart's Wedding Day
    When Mozart first moved to Vienna 1781, he stayed with the Weber family, with whom he developed close relations during his job-hunting in Mannheim in 1777. Mozart began to court Constanze Weber, and they were married the next year. They had 6 children, but only 2 survived infancy.
  • A Freemason

    A Freemason
    Mozart became a Freemason, admitted to the lodge Zur Wohltätigkeit. Freemasonry played an important role in the remainder of Mozart's life: he attended meetings, a number of his friends were Masons, and on various occasions he composed Masonic music, including the Maurerische Trauermusik.
  • The Haydn String Quartets

    The Haydn String Quartets
    Mozart studied the string quartets of Joseph Haydn, who is considered the creator of the modern string quartet. Mozart composed 6 string quartets while in Vienna between 1782 and 1785, which he later dedicated to Haydn. During this time, Haydn and Mozart had become friends, and sometimes played quartets together in Mozart's apartment, with Mozart playing the viola, and Haydn playing the violin.
  • The Marriage of Figaro

    The Marriage of Figaro
    Mozart, now 30, returned to composing opera. He composed the Marriage of Figaro, K.492, an opera buffa in four acts with a libretto in Italian by Lorenzo da Ponte. It was premiered at the Burgtheatre in Vienna. The audience was divided as critics liked the work but not the performance. It was more successful in Prague the following year.
  • The Death of Leopold Mozart

    The Death of Leopold Mozart
    Leopold Mozart dies in Salzburg at age 67. The cause of death was “congestion of the spleen” according to his doctor, and consumption according to an obituary. A modern diagnosis rules cause of death to be myocardial infarction. He was laid to rest in the churchyard of St. Sebastian in Salzburg.
  • Imperial and Royal Chamber Composer

    Imperial and Royal Chamber Composer
    Mozart is appointed Imperial and Royal Chamber Composer to replace Christoph Willibald Gluck, who died a month before after suffering his 4th stroke.
  • The Last Three Symphonies

    The Last Three Symphonies
    In the span of 3 months, Mozart composes 3 symphonies. The first of the 3 was his Symphony No. 39 in E-Flat Major, K. 543, followed by Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K. 550. His final symphony, Symphony No. 41 in C major, "Jupiter", K. 551, was finished on August 10. These symphonies remained unpublished until after his death.
  • The Final Performance

    The Final Performance
    Mozart, now 35, had his last public performance where he performed the premiere of his Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-Flat Major, K.595.
  • Mozart's Requiem

    Mozart's Requiem
    During the summer of 1791, Mozart recieved a request for a requiem mass from a man who wished to remain anonymous. Mozart's Requiem was his last musical effort, as he fell ill in November and died a month later at the age of 35. The cause of death is registered as “severe miliary fever” and later diagnosed as “rheumatic inflammatory fever.” Because he was ill at the time he was composing his requiem, Mozart believed that he was writing a requiem for himself.