Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born on January 27, 1756, is undoubtedly one of the greatest composers of all time. He almost single-handedly revolutionized music composition and popularized the piano concerto during the Classical period. Mozart composed masterpieces in every musical genre, infusing his works with the kind of bold artistry that was his signature. His rapid pace of composition ensured he had 800 works at the time of his death. Today on his birthday, we will help you celebrate him.
Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart
January 27, 1756
December 5, 1791 (age 35)
Mozart lived a tumultuous and thrilling, albeit short, life as a veritable genius. Christened Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart — the Latin variant of his chosen name — the prodigy was off to a great start as he was born into a family of composers. His father, Leopold Mozart, was a violinist for the ruling Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, Count Leopold Anton von Firmian. Mozart could strike thirds on his sister’s clavier, the keyboard of an organ, or a pianoforte at the tender age of three. At age five, he could play the clavier effortlessly and began composing his music. These pieces, named ‘K. 1–5,’ are recorded in “Nannerl Notenbuch” (in English: “Nannerl’s Music Book”). Mozart and his sister, Nannerl, toured Europe with their parents when they were young and played as child prodigies. He played before royalty at Bavaria in Munich and courts in Prague, then continued to Vienna, London, Paris, Manheim, Dover, and Amsterdam. During his travels, he became acquainted with other brilliant composers who he looked up to and drew influence from their works. At the age of eight, he composed his symphony. Despite the gruesome touring experiences, Mozart was an avid traveler. His travels were primarily attributed to the fact that Mozart’s father wanted to show off what a brilliant composer his son was. He was soon admitted as a member of the prestigious Accademia Filarmonica di Bologna, a music education institution in Italy.
After his return from Italy on March 13, 1773, he became employed by the ruler of Salzburg as the court musician. With this opportunity, he was able to work with multiple genres, including a violin concerto, symphonies, serenades, and string quartets. By December 1775, Mozart grew particularly attached to the violins and a series of five violin concertos. In 1776, he returned efforts to piano concertos and wrote the ‘K. 271’ concerto, considered one of his greatest works of all time. Mozart still longed to compose opera music despite these breakthrough compositions. As Salzburg didn’t afford him the opportunity and environment to do that, he searched for work at Vienna and Munich, all to no avail. In 1777, Mozart resigned and searched for employment in Paris, Augsburg, and Mannheim. During these travels, he befriended beloved members of the orchestra family in Mannheim, but his search for a job came to naught despite this. Mozart pawned off his valuables and fell into debt, and his mother died on July 3, 1778, probably due to a lack of funds. He stayed in Paris with his acquaintance, Friedrich Melchior, Baron von Grimm, and composed several sonatas, a symphony, and a concerto.
What followed was a period of dissatisfaction when his father got him a job back home as ‘Konzertmeister’ in Salzburg. There, with the international knowledge he’d gained, he composed ‘K. 318 in G Major’ and ‘K. 338 in C Major,’ as well as the sinfonia concertante for violin ‘K. 364.’ Later, he moved to Vienna, where he became praised for being ‘the finest keyboard player.’ He later got married to Constanze after Mozart faced many challenges trying to get his father’s approval for the marriage. Later, he became a famous concert soloist and, from the proceeds, began to live a luxurious life with his wife. Mozart dabbled in operatic writing for four years. In 1788, he penned his last three symphonies with a darker, more mature tone compared to his earlier works. In 1791, during his final year, Mozart composed a great deal but fell ill on September 6. He died on December 5, 1791.
Proving to be a musical genius from birth, he takes to the clarion at a frighteningly early age.
After his rigorous touring schedule is over, Mozart composes his first opera.
He travels throughout Europe, composing music and looking for jobs.
He begins to work on ‘The Magic Flute’ and ‘Requiem,’ which he doesn’t complete before his death.
Why We Love Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
He was a hard worker
Mozart was passionate about composing. He worked long and hard at a tremendous pace, meeting deadlines even when he was sick.
He lived his best life
He didn’t shy away from luxury when he had the means to fund it, and he traveled as much as possible. He was restless, lively, and eager to move on to better things.
He expressed himself through his music
Mozart made his music an extension of himself. We can feel his nostalgia, his highs and lows, triumphs and sufferings, and discontent.
5 Surprising Facts
He had pets
These include a canary, a dog, a horse, and a starling.
He had six children
However, only two survived infancy: Karl Thomas Mozart and Johann Thomas Leopold.
He had a childhood case of smallpox
Smallpox affected his complexion even until adulthood.
He loved elegant clothing
That much is evident from his portraits, where he often favored crimson and gold-laced pelisses.
He made drafts and sketches
Unfortunately, his wife destroyed them after his death, so they are not preserved.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart FAQs
Where is Mozart buried?
He is buried in Friedhof Wien St. Marx (Friedhofspark), Vienna, Austria.
What killed Mozart?
He died from kidney failure.
Who was Mozart’s first love?
He fell in love with Aloysia Weber in 1777.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s birthday dates