Mozart biography, essentials: Mozart was born on 27 Jan, 1756, Salzburg, Austria, died on 5 Dec, 1791, Vienna, Austria.
- This Mozart biography is a very brief overview. For more details, check the links above and to the left.
Most Mozart biographies describe him as one of only a handful of truly great composers. Only, perhaps, Bach and Beethoven can be considered his equal. Unlike any other composer, Mozart wrote in all musical genres and excelled in every one. So if he is not the greatest, he is probably the most universal of all composers.
Mozart's father Leopold was the author of a famous manual on violin playing. By the time Wolfgang was four, Leopold had taught him to play the harpsichord. By five he was composing concertos and playing at royal courts in Munich and Vienna. In the next few years the father and son played in all the main musical centres of Europe, including London and Paris.
In his teenage years Mozart produced music for the Salzburg court, but felt his genius was being stifled by this small, provincial position. The archbishop treated him like a valet, and did not allow him to play at concerts. Mozart moved to Vienna as a free-agent and earned money from concerts and pupils. More importantly, for the next decade he produced most of his mature works including his greatest operas and symphonies. He made enough money to marry Constanze, employ servants, and run a carriage. But he was permanently in debt. This led to him being buried in a paupers grave after an untimely death.