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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Biography

Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Gottlieb Mozart (27 January 1756, Salzburg, Austria – 5 December 1791, Vienna, Austria) was an Austrian composer of the Classical period.

Mozart's father, Leopold, was a composer and violinist, working mainly as concertmaster at the archiepiscopal court and the Salzburg court. Mozart displayed an aptitude for music at a very early age, writing his first sonata at age four, his first symphony at eight, and his first opera (La Finta Semplice) at twelve. His father took advantage of his musical talents, setting out on a tour of France and England and visiting numerous courts in both countries. The young and precocious Mozart amazed audiences with his immense talent and his showmanship, as well as with his behaviour. Haydn called him “the greatest composer known to me in person or by name; he has taste, and what is more, the greatest knowledge of composition.”

Although he is best known for his operas, symphonies, and works for piano, Mozart contributed much to the body of wind literature. Perhaps the three most important works in this vein are his Serenades Nos. 10, 11, and 12, K.361/370a, K. 375, and K.388/384a, respectively.

Mozart died of rheumatic fever in 1791. Despite persistent rumors to the contrary, Mozart was not poisoned, and the Italian composer Antonio Salieri certainly had nothing to do with his death. Mozart was never a healthy individual, and he had suffered from rheumatic fever most of his life.


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