Born January 27, 1756 in Salzburg. Died December 5, 1791 in Vienna.
He was the only surviving son of Leopold and Anna Mozart. His sister Nanneri was born on July 30, 1756
Leopold Mozart was a composer, singer, violinist and pianist and he was vice-kapellmeister to the Archbishop of Salzburg. He was an authoritarian father who supervised and encouraged the musical studies of his children.
Wolfgang’s musical potential was clear from the early age of three years old, and his father’s enthusiasm soon developed into a conviction that his son would become a great musician and eventually, Kapellmeister.
In 1762, Leopold organised a concert tour for the exhibition of the extraordinary musical talents of the six year old Wolfgang and eleven year old Nanneri. They were to spend most of their childhood touring Europe between 1762 and 1768. Wolfgang was composing his first pieces at the age of six and at the age of seven could play harpsichord sonatas, violin concertos, improvise on piano and organ and “covering the keyboard with a cloth, play with the same sureness as though he could actually see the keys”. He was a child prodigy and the plaything of the royal courts of Europe whom he astounded with his astonishing skill and genius.
Mozart had a well developed sense of his own worth and his talents matured through his determination to be a composer. In 1779 he became court organist in Salzburg, but resigned his post in 1781 after an argument with his employer the Archbishop Colloredo.
He moved to Vienna and in 1782 married Constanze Weber, a match not approved of by his father. In Vienna he sought patronage as a free-lance composer. In court circles, however, Mozart did little to further his career and he was unpopular with rival musicians who failed to understand his genius. His independent attitude brought him into conflict with the musicians at court particularly Antonio Salieri. However, he continued to write enormous quantities of music including seven operas, six symphonies and nine concertos whilst in Vienna. Many of these compositions form the bulk of his finest works.
Emanuel Schikaneder, a singer and owner of a popular theatre company, was one of the few people to take up Mozart’s cause. Schikaneder, a freemason, believed in the genius and popularity of Mozart’s music. He commissioned him to write “The Magic Flute”, one of his best