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Portrait from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Painting by Barbara Kraft | © ANTO/Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde - Verwendung für kommerzielle Zwecke untersagt!

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Biography in Brief

The life story of musical wunderkind Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart has its origins here in Salzburg. His parents, Leopold Mozart and Anna Maria Pertl, laid the foundation for his musical career. His early death at the age of just 35 shook everyone, but especially his sister “Nannerl”.

A wunderkind known as “Wolferl”

On 27 January 1756, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is born in the “Hagenauer Haus” (No. 9 Getreidegasse) in Salzburg. Of their seven children in total, Leopold Mozart, musician to the court of the prince archbishop, and wife Anna Maria Walpurga have only one other who survives: Mozart’s elder sister Maria Anna, nicknamed “Nannerl”. Both of them are exceptionally gifted, one reason why the father puts his own career somewhat on the back burner.

The travels of young Mozart

Beginning in 1762, the ambitious father presents his talented children before princely courts across Europe. At the tender age of just six, little Mozart embarks on a long journey through Western Europe – from Germany, Belgium and France, all the way to London. He would continue to develop his musical skills in Italy.

The Salzburg Years

Mozart spends his youth as an honorary, and from 1772  as a salaried concert-master at the Salzburg court. His fruitless search for a different appointment leads him to Italy, Vienna and Munich. In autumn 1773, the family moves into the house on Hannibalplatz, now known as the “Mozart Residence” whose address today is No. 8 Makartplatz.

Break with the Salzburg Archbishop

With Salzburg gaining a new ruler in 1772, Mozart is once again able to lead a more ordered life. Under Archbishop Hieronymus Graf Colloredo, in 1779 he reenters court service as an organist.  However, after the premier of “Idomeneo” in Munich at the beginning of June 1781, Mozart falls out with the archbishop.

Move to Vienna and starting a family

In Vienna, he tries to make his way as a freelance performer, opera composer and teacher. On 4 August 1782, against the will of his father, he marries Constanze Weber. Together, the couple travel to Salzburg and Prague. Of their six children, only Karl Thomas and Franz Xaver Wolfgang survive beyond childhood.

Mozart’s Early Death

One of his last operatic successes is “La Clemenza di Tito” (K 621), the “Coronation Opera” first performed in Prague on 6 September 1791. Shortly after the premier pf “The Magic Flute” (K 620) at the Freihaustheater in Vienna, Mozart falls ill. He dies in Vienna on 5 December 1791 at the age of 35 from a “extreme miliary fever”. His “Requiem” (K 626) remains uncompleted.

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