• Composer of the Week:   Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a Classical Period composer who is known world-wide, even today.  Born in Salzburg, Austria in 1756, Mozart was the ultimate example of a child prodigy.  His father, Leopold, encouraged his musical talents and taught him from a young age.  In fact, it is said that Mozart could play an early version of the piano “flawlessly” by age four, and was starting to write music as early as age five.   By age eleven, Mozart was already touring Europe with his father and writing full pieces of music.   By his teenage years, Mozart was becoming known as a mature composer.  

    Mozart wrote symphonies, operas, concertos and sonatas for various instruments, string quartets, choral pieces and works for the early versions of the piano (called the clavier).   He wrote sacred (religious) music like his Requiem Mass, and secular music (non-religious) like his symphonies.   Through it all, Mozart’s amazing talent showed.  It is said that he had nearly a perfect memory for music, needing to hear something only once or twice before being able to write it down, note for note.    His most famous pieces include Symphony #40 in G minor (he wrote 41 total), operas such as The Magic Flute and Don Giovanni, as well as Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, and Requiem. 

    Mozart was married in 1782, and had six children.   Despite his amazing talent and productivity, Mozart was an undisciplined man.  He had poor social skills, and often made inappropriate jokes.   He didn’t sleep enough or take care of himself well in general, often working late into the night.   As a result, his health began to fail at an early age.   Mozart died in 1791, at the age of just 35.   He was already extremely famous, but died with little money (something he was not good with).   He is considered the greatest child prodigy to ever have lived, and along with Ludwig Beethoven and J.S. Bach, is among the most famous composers in history.

     Map of Salzburg, Austria 

  • t