Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

The exceptional talents of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), which were developed by his father, Leopold (himself a musician), resulted in him travelling and performing from the age of six. He attracted a huge amount of attention and admiration and met various composers such a Johann Schobert and Johann Christian Bach. Mozart nonetheless struggled to create a niche for himself. In Salzburg, his birthplace, he became Konzertmeister, but the small town and the constraints imposed on him were too restrictive. He travelled in the hope of finding a suitable post, but in vain. He put his time to good use, however, by making the most of the opportunity to study with the Masters (including the Padre Martini, who taught him counterpoint) and to honour commissions.   

Mozart finally handed his notice in in Salzburg in 1777 in order to travel to Paris. His notice was refused. The final rupture took place in 1781 and Mozart, aware of his abilities, settled in Vienna and married Constance Weber. Their financial situation was difficult and no posts were available to him. He collaborated with the librettist, Lorenzo Da Ponte (The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and Cosi fan tutte), and his entry into the masonic lodge was sealed with The Magic Flute. His financial situation continued to worsen and Mozart fell seriously ill. He used his last reserves of strength to honour some commissions, including The Magic Flute, The Clemency of Titus, concerto for clarinet and the Requiem, which was unfinished.