Mozart - The child prodigy
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is an Austrian composer who was born in January 1756 and died in December 1791. He is widely known as one of the greatest composers in the history of Western music and a child prodigy.
His full name was Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. What?! Where’s the Amadeus in it? Briefly it goes like this 1. He was born on Saint John Chrysostom name day. 2. His grandfather was called Wolfgang 3. Theophilus means “loved by God” in English, ‘Amadé’ in French, and ‘Amadeus’ in Latin. So here you go!
To be accurate he learnt how to play his first piece of music at the harpsichord (piano’s ancestor) when he was 4. His father Leopold was a violinist himself and started cultivating Mozart’s love for music at an extremely young age. He wrote “Wolfgangerl mastered the minuet and trio the day before his fifth birthday, in just thirty minutes, at 9.30 pm, January 26th, 1761.” His father made sure to showcase his son’s talent and get him many prestigious opportunities to perform. He composed his first music at the age of 5, and by age of 6 he had performed before two imperial courts. At the age of 7 he went on a 3 years tour with his sister Nannerl and performed in major Western Europe cities. He was appointed Konzertmeister at the Salzburg court at the age of 13.
He was mentored by Franz Joseph Haydn, who told Leopold that Mozart was the greatest composer known to him by person and repute. Mozart composed in several genres including symphonies and operas. Overall, he composed more than 600 pieces of music. He died before finishing his last piece, the famous “Requiem Mass in D minor” (1971). A requiem is a musical composition setting parts to a Mass to repose the souls of the dead. Amongst Mozart’s most famous compositions are “The magic flute” (1791), the last opera he wrote which premiered only three months before his death. Another one is the Clarinet Concerto in A Major features in films including ‘The King’s Speech’, ’27 Dresses’ and ‘Out of Africa’.
Mozart is still celebrated till today. On his 250th birthday, all churches in Salzburg rang their bells simultaneously at the exact same hour of his birth.