Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a musician capable of playing multiple instruments who started playing in public at the age of 6. Over the years, Mozart aligned himself with m any European venues and patrons, composing hundreds of works that included sonatas, symphonies, masses, concertos, and operas, marked by vivid emotions and sophisticated textures.

Early Life.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s was the sole-surviving son of Leopold and Maria Pertl Mozart. Leopold was a successful composer, violinist, and assistant concert master at the Salzburg court. Wolfgang’s mother, Anna Maria Pertl, was born to a middle class family of local community leaders. His only sister was Maria Anna (nicknamed “Nannerl”). With their father’s encouragement and guidance, they both were introduced to music at an early age. Leopold started Nannerl on keyboard when she was seven, as three-year old Wolfgang looked on. Mimicking her playing, Wolfgang quickly began to show a strong understanding of chords, tonality, and tempo. Soon, he too was being tutored by his father.

Death and Legacy.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died on December 5, 1791 at age 35. The cause of death is uncertain, due to the limits of postmortem diagnosis. Officially, the record lists the cause as severe miliary fever, referring to a skin rash that looks like millet seeds. Since then, many hypotheses have circulated regarding Mozart's death. Some have attributed it to rheumatic fever, a disease he suffered from repeatedly throughout his life. It was reported that his funeral drew few mourners and he was buried in a common grave. Both actions were the Viennese custom at the time, for only aristocrats and nobility enjoyed public mourning and were allowed to be buried in marked graves. However, his memorial services and concerts in Vienna and Prague were well attended. After his death, Constanze sold many of his unpublished manuscripts to undoubtedly pay off the family’s large debts. She was able to obtain a pension from the emperor and organized several profitable memorial concerts in Mozart’s honor. From these efforts, Constanze was able to gain some financial security for herself and allowing her to send her children to private schools
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