Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg. A child prodigy (he took his first harpsichord lessons when he was 4 and began composition at 6), he quickly became famous, thanks to the many tours he made with his father, Leopold, who was himself vice chapel-master at the court of the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, as well as a mentor and teacher to his son.
At the age of 16, Mozart was appointed concertmaster to the new Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, Hieronymus von Colleredo. He was commissioned to compose works to the tastes of his day and asked to perform. But he quickly grew tired of the confining environment of Salzburg and, in 1777, he resigned his position at the court.
In 1779, he became the resident organist at the Salzburg cathedral, then settled in Vienna. He performed for the Court, gave music lessons and piano concerts, while being vice chapel-master at the cathedral. His Don Giovanni was a huge success in Prague but was poorly received in Vienna. Mozart's health was declining and he spent the last years of his life in poverty.
He died on the night of 5 to 6 December 1791: he was not yet 35 years old. He was buried in a common grave, due to sanitary measures but also because of his family's destitution. In spite of his early death, Mozart created in 30 years one of the greatest legacy in music history, comprising classical masterpieces in almost every musical genre: opera, sacred music (including his famous Requiem), symphonic, concert or chamber music...
His operas include some early works such as La Finta semplice, Mitridate re di Ponto, Lucio Silla, or La Finta giardiniera. Composed in 1781 Idomeneo started to reveal Mozart's personality. Then Il Seraglio, composed the next year, marked his true independence as an artist and the beginning of his mature masterpieces: Le Nozze di Figaro in 1786, Don Giovanni in 1787, The Magic Flute in 1791. With La Clemenza di Tito Mozart returned to the seria genre.
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