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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27th January 1756 - 5th December 1791), was born in Salzburg. He was the son of Leopold Mozart (1719-87) a violinist and minor composer.

Mozart was very precocious, he played and composed by the age of 5, and was taken to the courts of Munich and Vienna in 1762 to appear with his gifted sister Maria Anna (1751-1829). Between 1763 and 1766 the familly toured Europe staying in London, Holland, Paris and Switzerland.

Mozart by now was composing symphonies and stage music. In 1767/68 he composed the German operetta Bastien and Bastienne K50 and the Italian comic opera La finta semplice K51. In 1773, still only 17, he settled at the Salzburg court, where he wrote mainly church and entertainment music. Later in January 1775 he produced an opera La finta giardiniera K196 in Munich with great success. At Salzburg he was not appreciated by the tyrannical archbishop, and decided to go on a long tour with his mother in 1777.

In August 1782 he married Constanze Weber, aged 19, who made him a thriftless wife but retained his love to the end.

The final period of his work had now begun. Mozart gave concerts for which he wrote superb concertos, started the set of string quartets dedicated to Haydn and produced a great variety of other works in rapid succession. In 1786 he produced the Italian opera Le nozze di Figaro K492 in Vienna, followed by Don Giovanni K527 in Prague, and in 1790 Cosi fan tutte K588 in Vienna.

These masterpieces and his countless instrumental works did not make him prosperous. To make ends meet Mozart had to give poorly paid lessons and was so much in debt during his last years that he had to beg his friends for assistance.

In 1791 the production of Die Zauberflote K620 was an immense success, but financially unrewarding. He was already ill when he received an anonymous order for the Requiem K626, which was left unfinished at his death on 5 December 1791.