Making Music With Mozart

By | November 23, 2019

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with his sister Maria Anna and father Leopold, on the wall a portrait of his dead mother Anna Maria, c. 1780. Source: (Wikimedia Commons)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is one of the greatest classical composers in history. His career was considered the height of the classic Viennese school. So capable was Mozart that he composed in almost every genre of his day and was a master in each one of them. Today, his music is still widely celebrated and well-known in popular culture.

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Anonymous portrait of the child Mozart, possibly by Pietro Antonio Lorenzoni; painted in 1763 on commission from Leopold Mozart. Source: (Wikimedia Commons)

Born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria, Mozart was the son of a musician, Leopold, who had written a popular book on the violin. Out of seven Mozart children, only Wolfgang and his sister Maria Anna (called Nannerl) survived to adulthood.

From a very early age, Mozart displayed musical genius. At three who could select chords from a harpsichord and by five, he was composing music. Leopold Mozart said of his son, “The miracle which God let be born in Salzburg.” His father took him and Nannerl, also talented, to play at the royal courts in Bavaria and Vienna. At the Viennese court, the king asked the child prodigy to play with the keyboard beneath a cloth and then blindfolded. This he performed beautifully to the astonishment of the court.