Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Classical-era composer (1756–1791) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart[lower-alpha 1] (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), baptised as Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart,[lower-alpha 2] was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical period. Despite his short life, his rapid pace of composition resulted in more than 800 works of virtually every genre of his time. Many of these compositions are acknowledged as pinnacles of the symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral repertoire. Mozart is widely regarded as among the greatest composers in the history of Western music, with his music admired for its "melodic beauty, its formal elegance and its richness of harmony and texture".
Born in Salzburg, then in the Holy Roman Empire, Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. His father took him on a grand tour of Europe and then three trips to Italy. At 17, he was a musician at the Salzburg court but grew restless and travelled in search of a better position.
While visiting Vienna in 1781, Mozart was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He stayed in Vienna, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years there, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas. His Requiem was largely unfinished by the time of his death at the age of 35, the circumstances of which are uncertain and much mythologized.