51 Facts About Mozart


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, baptised as Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical period.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,389

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".

FactSnippet No. 1,246,390

Mozart's father took him on a grand tour of Europe and then three trips to Italy.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,391

Mozart stayed in Vienna, where he achieved fame but little financial security.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,392

Mozart's Requiem was largely unfinished by the time of his death at the age of 35, the circumstances of which are uncertain and much mythologized.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,393

Mozart was the youngest of seven children, five of whom died in infancy.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,394

Mozart was baptised the day after his birth, at St Rupert's Cathedral in Salzburg.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,395

Mozart generally called himself "Wolfgang Amade Mozart" as an adult, but his name had many variants.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,396

Leopold Mozart, a native of Augsburg, then an Imperial Free City in the Holy Roman Empire, was a minor composer and an experienced teacher.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,397

Mozart often spent much time at the clavier, picking out thirds, which he was ever striking, and his pleasure showed that it sounded good.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,398

When he was eight years old, Mozart wrote his first symphony, most of which was probably transcribed by his father.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,399

In Milan, Mozart wrote the opera Mitridate, re di Ponto, which was performed with success.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,400

Mozart returned with his father twice to Milan for the composition and premieres of Ascanio in Alba and Lucio Silla .

FactSnippet No. 1,246,401

Leopold hoped these visits would result in a professional appointment for his son, and indeed ruling Archduke Ferdinand contemplated hiring Mozart, but owing to his mother Empress Maria Theresa's reluctance to employ "useless people", the matter was dropped and Leopold's hopes were never realized.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,402

One reason was his low salary, 150 florins a year; Mozart longed to compose operas, and Salzburg provided only rare occasions for these.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,403

Mozart became acquainted with members of the famous orchestra in Mannheim, the best in Europe at the time.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,404

Mozart fell in love with Aloysia Weber, one of four daughters of a musical family.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,405

Mozart stayed with Melchior Grimm, who, as a personal secretary of the Duke d'Orleans, lived in his mansion.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,406

Mozart planned a bigger career as he continued in the archbishop's service; for example, he wrote to his father:.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,407

Mozart did indeed soon meet the Emperor, who eventually was to support his career substantially with commissions and a part-time position.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,408

Colloredo's wish to prevent Mozart from performing outside his establishment was in other cases carried through, raising the composer's anger; one example was a chance to perform before the Emperor at Countess Thun's for a fee equal to half of his yearly Salzburg salary.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,409

Mozart decided to settle in Vienna as a freelance performer and composer.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,410

Mozart passionately defended his intention to pursue an independent career in Vienna.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,411

The debate ended when Mozart was dismissed by the archbishop, freeing himself both of his employer and of his father's demands to return.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,412

Mozart faced a challenging task in getting his father's permission for the marriage.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,413

In 1782 and 1783, Mozart became intimately acquainted with the work of Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel as a result of the influence of Gottfried van Swieten, who owned many manuscripts of the Baroque masters.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,414

Mozart met Joseph Haydn in Vienna around 1784, and the two composers became friends.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,415

From 1782 to 1785 Mozart mounted concerts with himself as a soloist, presenting three or four new piano concertos in each season.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,416

Solomon writes that during this period, Mozart created "a harmonious connection between an eager composer-performer and a delighted audience, which was given the opportunity of witnessing the transformation and perfection of a major musical genre".

FactSnippet No. 1,246,417

Mozart bought a fine fortepiano from Anton Walter for about 900 florins, and a billiard table for about 300.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,418

Mozart focused instead on his career as a piano soloist and writer of concertos.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,419

Around the end of 1785, Mozart moved away from keyboard writing and began his famous operatic collaboration with the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,420

Mozart began to borrow money, most often from his friend and fellow mason Puchberg; "a pitiful sequence of letters pleading for loans" survives.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,421

Around this time, Mozart made some long journeys hoping to improve his fortunes, visiting Leipzig, Dresden, and Berlin in the spring of 1789, and Frankfurt, Mannheim, and other German cities in 1790.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,422

Mozart is thought to have benefited from the sale of dance music written in his role as Imperial chamber composer.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,423

Mozart was nursed in his final days by his wife and her youngest sister, and was attended by the family doctor, Thomas Franz Closset.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,424

Mozart was small and his countenance, except for his large intense eyes, gave no signs of his genius.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,425

Mozart usually worked long and hard, finishing compositions at a tremendous pace as deadlines approached.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,426

Mozart often made sketches and drafts; unlike Beethoven's, these are mostly not preserved, as his wife sought to destroy them after his death.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,427

Mozart lived at the center of the Viennese musical world, and knew a significant number and variety of people: fellow musicians, theatrical performers, fellow Salzburgers, and aristocrats, including some acquaintance with Emperor Joseph II.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,428

Leutgeb and Mozart carried on a curious kind of friendly mockery, often with Leutgeb as the butt of Mozart's practical jokes.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,429

Mozart enjoyed billiards, dancing, and kept pets, including a canary, a starling, a dog, and a horse for recreational riding.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,430

Mozart wrote scatological music, a series of canons that he sang with his friends.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,431

Mozart was raised a Catholic and remained a devout member of the Church throughout his life.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,432

Mozart was a versatile composer, and wrote in every major genre, including symphony, opera, the solo concerto, chamber music including string quartet and string quintet, and the piano sonata.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,433

Mozart wrote a great deal of religious music, including large-scale masses, as well as dances, divertimenti, serenades, and other forms of light entertainment.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,434

Mozart had a gift for absorbing and adapting the valuable features of others' music.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,435

Mozart's travels helped in the forging of a unique compositional language.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,436

Mozart produced operas in each of the prevailing styles: opera buffa, such as The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi fan tutte; opera seria, such as Idomeneo; and Singspiel, of which Die Zauberflote is the most famous example by any composer.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,437

Later when Mozart was visiting Augsburg, he was impressed by Stein pianos and shared this in a letter to his father.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,438

Mozart is thought to have performed Mozart's operas while playing in the court orchestra at Bonn and travelled to Vienna in 1787 hoping to study with the older composer.

FactSnippet No. 1,246,439