He was the 7th and last born child of Leopold Mozart and Anna Maria. He was born on 27th January 1756 as a great consolation to his parents, as five of their children had died while still infants.
His parents took him to get baptized at St. Rupert’s Cathedral a day after his birth. The cathedral stands in Salzburg, the capital city of the Archbishopric of Salzburg in the Holy Roman Empire (today’s Austria). He grew up as a devoted Roman Catholic and did not deviate from this faith all his life.
He loved his sister and watched as their father taught her to play the keyboard, also known as a clavier. After showing interest in it, his father began to teach him how to play, keeping to time and striking the chords so that it sounds good. He learned to play the clavier in no time and could play it faultlessly.
His talent evolved rapidly after learning how to play the clavier. His father, who was his teacher, listened as he played the compositions to him and recorded them in the Nannerl Nontenbuch.
At a young age, he traveled widely for concert tours and met many established musicians. One of them, Johann Christian Bach, praised Mozart for his taste and great skill. Even with the challenging and primitive travel conditions, Mozart embraced other composers’ work and acquainted himself with their writing styles.
This fact about Mozart is one that thrust his career and made him recognized. He wrote his first symphony at the age of eight, an Ontario at eleven, and his first opera at twelve years old. His musical journey gained momentum at this early age, and by the time he was 15 years old, he had a seat on the court orchestra. Although he enjoyed learning different music genres and working with great musicians, Mozart was unsatisfied with the low pay at the Salzburg court, and so he resigned.
He married Constanze Weber in 1782 and had six children, but only two survived. Mozart wasn’t the typical body-built man, but with his small pock-marked face, he had a great sense of humor and was free to enjoy life to the fullest. He had first fallen in love with Constanze’s elder sister, Aloysia, but she had lost interest in him after their first separation.
He stood out in Vienna as the finest keyboard player after participating in a competition as a pianist before the Emperor in 1981. His career as a composer became prosperous during this period. His opera “The Abduction from Seraglio” was played all through Europe. The Emperor became a substantial supporter of Mozart’s musical dream.
Following his breakthroughs in Vienna, he decided to settle there as a freelance composer and performer. His father was not pleased with this decision and fervently opposed him, forcing him to reconcile with his former employer. Mozart heard none of it and continued to pursue his music career undeterred.
Between 1782 and 1785, his career reached its peak as he organized many popular concerts, with him as the soloist. During this period, he made enough money to live luxuriously – he and his wife moved to an expensive apartment, sent their son to a boarding school, and even had servants.
In 1784, he joined Freemasonry and began to compose Masonic music occasionally. One of the Masonic specials he made is the Maurerische Trauermusik. This new commitment became a crucial part of his life as he attended meetings and made friends from the Masons group.
The great success achieved from his masterpiece “The Abduction from Seraglio” enticed him to continue writing concertos and performing as a piano soloist. He found his way back to writing operas and had significant collaborations with the famous Lorenzo Da Ponte. These compositions were musically complex and were quite tricky for listeners.
His last year before his illness can be described as the most productive year of his life, as he experienced great public success and was very satisfied with his work. At the time of his death in December 1791, he left incomplete albums of his operas (La Clemenza di Tito and The Magic Flute) that he had premiered before his wealth deteriorated.
During his illnesses, he portrayed symptoms such as vomiting, swelling, millet rushes, and severe pain, which would suggest many different diagnoses. This fact is one of Mozart’s most argued points, as some people have rumored that his rivals might have poisoned him.
His burial was in a common grave that could face excavation in about ten years. There was not much recognition as compared to the concerts he held that had full attendance.
There was a sudden rise in interest for his work, and many authors came out to write his biography and verify facts about Mozart that had remained a mystery to many people. Many publishers also looked to produce his completed work.
Did you know all of this about Mozart? What did you know already?
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