A "Child Prodigy" is a child who is extremely talented. Many people know that Mozart gave true meaning to the term child prodigy. But he was more than just a child prodigy. He became a legend. Mozart went on to compose more music in his short life than any other composer. This page will talk about his childhood, his adulthood, his music, his opinions, and the spiritual beliefs that drove him.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756 in Salzburg, Austria. His father, Leopold Mozart, led a local orchestra, and could recognize talent. Leopold first realized that Wolfgang had some talent when he was three. At the age of four, Wolfgang began formal training. He was composing short works by the time he was five. When Wolfgang turned six, his father began to make his son well-known. One of his tricks was to play the harpsichord with a cloth covering the keys so that he couldn't see them. Wolfgang also had perfect pitch and could name notes as they were played. Wolfgang played for much of the nobility in Europe. It is told that when he played for the Austrian court, he proposed to Marie Antoinette, who was then a little girl.
Mozart never attended school. While he was not educated, he still knew a lot about music. By age fourteen, he had composed many works, large and small.
In 1769, Mozart began the next phase of his life: employment under the archbishop of Salzburg. Mozart worked there for twelve years. Mozart was considerably the junior of the archbishop and all of his advisors, many of whom were also musicians. These other musicians were conservative and wanted to write old-fashioned operas, not new-fangled and possibly indecent operas. Mozart had new ideas about music, and these conservatives considered him dangerous. He wrote different vocal numbers in high ranges for the singers. Often the court composers wanted the operas to be written in Italian, which Mozart didn't necessarily want for his pieces. Often Mozart was shunned by the other court composers for some crazy decision he had made. Sometimes, if Mozart was lucky, the archbishop came to his rescue. The archbishop was less of a martinet than the court composers, but even he had his limits. Mozart and the archbishop quarrelled often. Finally, in 1781, the archbishop was fed of with Mozart's ideas, and Mozart was dismissed.
Mozart went to Vienna, teaching music and trying to make a living. Because he was now a grown-up, he was no longer a child prodigy.
In 1782, Mozart married. His father was opposed to the marriage. Mozart's wife stood up for him and kept him going through the years.
Mozart never had much money. After being paid a commission for his work, he often squandered the money.
Mozart died December 5, 1791.
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Rondo Alla Turca