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Salzburg (Austria) January 27th, 1756 - Vienna (Austria) December 5th, 1791
Wolgang was born in a family of musicians : his father Leopold is the vice choir master of the Archbishop of Salzburg and his sister Nannerl is a harpsichord virtuoso. At 4 years old, showing exceptional talents, he receives a music education and thanks to hard work, he becomes a little virtuoso himself.
From 1762 to 1766, Leopold takes his kids on tour to Munich and all around Europe including London and Paris where Wolfgang complete his formation meeting great musicians such as Johann Christian Bach or Schubert.
At 6 years old, he composes several sonatas, symphonies and concertos. Back in Vienna in 1768, he composes the opera buffa La Finta Semplice and the singspiel Bastien und Bastienne.
After spending a few months in Salzburg, father and son leave for Italy where Wolfgang can soak up the Italian style, study the counterpoint and meet famous composers (the padre Martini, Sammartini, Myslivecek.).
He composes then his Mitridate, created in 1770 in Milan and the opera seria Luico Silla.
At 15 years old, Mozart is appointed Konzertmeister of Salzburg. He works and composes a lot (La finta giardiniera, spiritual music, Il re pastore, some divertimenti or serenades) in particular the famous Piano Concerto n°9 in E flat major.
In 1777, he goes looking for a new position. In Mannheim, he lives with the Weber family and fall in love with their daughter Aloysia. In spite of this, he keeps on his way to Paris where his mother dies in 1778, and then realises that it is more difficult to succeed among the famous musicians than to be a child prodigy acclaimed everywhere.
Back in Salzburg, he composes Idomeneo, which meets great success. He resigns after a violent conflict with the Archbishop and settles in Vienna in 1781 as an independent artist.
Mozart meets Joseph Haydn, he admires him and dedicates him six String Quators.
In 1782, he composes the singspiel L'enlèvement au Sérail which triumphs despite the attempts of sabotage coming from Salieri, who was then Vienna's Opera's Conductor.
The same year, he marries Constanze Weber, Aloysia's sister. Truly in love with each other, they had an extravagant lifestyle, spending more than they have, contrary to the common idea, Mozart was well paid. They had 6 children, 4 of them died in their early age (one of them Franz Xaver Wolfgang will also become a composer).
In 1784, he becomes freemason. Then, he meets the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte with whom he collaborates for three masterpieces: Les Noces de Figaro composed in 1786, Don Giovanni in 1787 and Cosi fan tutte in 1790. But Mozart feels more and more misunderstood by the Viennese public, despite being Composer of the Imperial Chamber (Don Giovanni is acclaimed in Prague and all over Europe but fails in Vienna).
Mozart's father dies in 1787 as they were still in bad terms.
He goes back on tour in 1789, but comes back impoverished. He then continues to compose (La Clémence de Titus and the mason opera La Flûte enchantée created in 1791). On demand of a mysterious man in black (eventually recognized as on behalf of the Count von Walsegg) he composes his last masterpiece, the Requiem, but weakened, he cannot help thinking that it will be the Requiem of his coming death. Mozart dies at the age of 35.
Mozart was a prolific composer and wrote for many genres. Among his best works are his operas, the piano concertos, his symphonies, string quartets and string quintets.
More than a composer, Mozart is now a true symbol of classical music !