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    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Famous Austrian Composer (1756 - 1791)

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was one of the greatest composers of all times. He created his own distinct style, blending traditional and contemporary.

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on the 27 January 1756 in Salzburg and was already considered a genius as a child. He made his first attempts at composition at the tender age of six. He was the son of Leopold Mozart, violin instructor, court composer and deputy music director at the court of the prince-archbishop of Salzburg, and Anna Maria, née Pertl.

    He created twenty-four operas including such famous works as "The Magic Flute", "Don Giovanni", and "The Marriage of Figaro", 17 masses and over 50 symphonies. Mozart’s work, however, extended to all styles and types of music. He knew how to blend traditional and contemporary elements to create his own distinctive style, which is characterized by thematic and tonal variety, melded with a high degree of formal discipline. Mozart’s compositions are hallmarked by their melodic, rhythmic, and dynamic contrasts. Following his break with the archbishop of Salzburg, Mozart moved to Vienna in 1781, where a year later he married singer Constanze Weber. In 1787, he was appointed court chamber composer. Mozart died in 1791 whilst working on his famed requiem.

    Follow in Mozart's Footsteps

    These are the sites to visit if you want to discover more about one of the world's most famous composers.

    Mozart's Birthplace in Salzburg

    W. A. Mozart was born in 1756 in the “Hagenauer Haus” at No. 9 Getreidegasse in Salzburg. Today, Mozart’s Birthplace is one of the most visited museums in Austria and is an absolute highlight, above all for Mozart fans.

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    Mozart's Birthplace

    Salzburg Cathedral

    The many treasures of this cathedral include a bronze baptismal font (1311) with lions at its base (1200), in which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Mohr, the man who wrote the words for “Silent Night!”, were both christened.

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    Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna

    In 1762, little Mozart played his first concert for the Habsburgs here. Today, Mozart's works are performed regularly at the palace.

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    Schönbrunn palace

    Mozarthaus Vienna

    Mozart and his family lived here from 1784 to 1787, during which time he wrote the world-famous opera “Le Nozze di Figaro” and three of the six Haydn Quartets. It is the largest, most elegant, and expensive apartment ever occupied by Mozart and the only one that is still intact today.

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    Mozarthaus Vienna

    Mozart Fun Facts


     

    1. What was his real eye colour?

    Youz might notice some puzzling things about Mozart’s appearance in his portraits: For one, his nose changes constantly, growing slimmer and making Mozart younger and more handsome. In the paintings showcased in his birthplace in Salzburg, Mozart's eye colour seems to be different in each one. In the eighteenth century, artists liked to give their subjects blue eyes which was a beauty ideal at the time. Mozart probably had dark-brown eyes in reality.

    W.A. Mozart Painting / B. Kraft

    2. Mozart and Love

    When he was 21, Mozart travelled to the German city of Mannheim with his mother where he fell head over heels in love with the singer Aloysia Weber. To Mozart, it was immediately clear that he would marry Aloysia and spend his life with her. He even began composing music for their wedding mass. But she rejected his marriage proposal.

    Mozart’s strict and ambitious father was against the marriage as well, as he considered his son to be too immature. He wanted Wolfgang Amadeus to continue to devote himself to his career instead of letting himself be distracted by women.

    But love would not be delayed for ever. When Mozart moved to Vienna, he met Constanze Weber, Aloysia’s younger sister. Against his father’s wishes and without his permission, he married Constanze on 4 August 1782 in a small, modest ceremony at Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

    Coach around 1790

    3. Mozart loved Almond Milk, Sauerkraut, and Beer

    Mozart regularly had almond milk at Café Tomaselli at Salzburg’s Alter Markt, Austria’s oldest coffeehouse still in operation. Its origins date back to 1700. It is not surprising that Mozart was a frequent guest there, as the café is located only a few minutes’ walk from Getreidegasse and Mozart’s birthplace.

    Mozart’s favoured beverage to accompany spicy dishes like sauerkraut with liver dumplings was dark beer. The diary of his sister, Nannerl, mentions a visit to Salzburg’s Stieglbräu brewery. In August 1780, she wrote: “At 3 o’clock we three went to watch bowling at stieglbreü”. The group also enjoyed “a few drinks of good beer” at this venerable tavern.

    Cafe Tomaselli, Salzburg

    4. Mozart Wrote a Poem About his Pet Bird

    Somewhat fittingly, the Mozart family kept songbirds as pets. They also had a dog, a fox terrier named Pimperl, which was the darling of the family. When Mozart moved to Vienna, he kept several birds there as well, including a starling. When the bird died, he even dedicated a poem to it: “Poem for a Dead Starling” (1787).

    Bee-eater bird

    5. Mozart was Almost Unbeblievably Prolific

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed a total of 626 works, although he only lived to be 35 years old – a very short life even back then. By the time he was twelve, Mozart had already written three operas, six symphonies, and hundreds of other works. His genius not only impressed his contemporaries at the time, it also continues to live on today in his extraordinary compositions.

    Original “Requiem“ notes by W. A. Mozart