Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Dictionary of World Biography: The 17th and 18th Centuries)
Article abstract: Along with Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven, Mozart represents the fullest achievement of the Viennese classical style. Prolific and precocious, Mozart worked in a wide range of musical forms, from court dances and chamber music to symphonies and operas, producing some of the most enduring and masterful compositions in each.
Johan Crysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria, on January 27, 1756, the second of the seven children born to Leopold and Anna Maria Mozart to survive infancy. He and his older sister, Maria Anna (“Nannerl”), received the full benefit of the musical education bestowed on them by their father, himself a composer. Although both children proved to be musically precocious, greater attention was lavished on young Mozart. By 1762, both he and Nannerl were attracting much attention, both in their native Salzburg and in the musically more prestigious capital city of Vienna. In 1763, the family set off for Paris and London, with the young Mozart giving performances along the way, both to extend his reputation and to help defray the family’s expenses.
Mozart’s early European travels were especially important to his development. He was able to display his talent and skills and thereby dispel any doubts held by those who had not heard him. More important, he was exposed to a wide variety of styles, which he would master and synthesize...
(The entire section is 2894 words.)
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