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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756 and died December 5, 1791. He is widely known as one of most significant and famous composers of European classical music. His works are seen as masterpieces of the classical style, as well as being some of the most well known pieces of classical music today. His wide array of works include piano, chamber, opera, choral, and symphonic music.

He was born in the city of Salzburg, Austria, and his musical ability was first noticed when he was three years old. At the age of three he was sitting in front of a harpsichord attempting to find harmonic successions of thirds, as well as countless hours on the clavichord exploring sounds, intervals and chords. His father was one of Europe's leading musical teachers, and it was from him that Mozart received his musical teaching in clavier, violin and organ. From an early age he began as a composer, composing his first piece just before his fifth birthday. Then, at the age of 6, he travelled throughout Europe, exhibiting his incredible music talent as a performer and composer. Mozart composed his first symphony K.16 in London at the age of 7. Whilst touring in those three years of the "Grand Tour", he had composed four piano sonatas, and while in London, befriended Johann Christian Bach, 'music master' to the queen. Mozart and his family returned to Salzburg in 1766, and while not receiving substantial profit from the journey, his music abilities had indeed expanded.

A year later and the Mozart family was again on tour, and Mozart was commissioned to compose his first opera, to be named La finta semplice K.51. Upon returning to Salzburg, Mozart refined his music talent, whilst his father searched out suitable projects to make the family richer. He succeeded in gaining contracts to compose various operas for courts in Italy. They travelled through Italy from 1770-1773, where Mozart composed various operas and works, as well as studying with Padre Giambattista Martini, a very respected musician of the time. While in Rome, he attended a "Miserere" during the Holy Week, and upon returning home, reproduced the entire piece on paper, a forbidden act. Pope Clement XIV heard of this, awarded him the title of Knight of the Golden Order



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