Wolfgang Amedeus Mozart, born to an Austrian family in the 18th century was one of the most prolific classical music composers to have ever existed. His extraordinary music sense and understanding of classical music suggests immense talent. Over the course of his short lifetime of just 35 years, Mozart composed twenty-four operas, 17 masses and over 50 symphonies.
Many believe that Mozart’s immense talent as a prodigious composer from an early age can be attributed to a certain extent to his musical background. His father, Leopold Mozart, was “a German from Swabia originally, was a violinist and experienced musician”. Leopold Mozart frequented the courts of a number of famous archbishops and princes during his lifetime, earning the title of one of Austria’s most reputed “conductors, composers and teachers”. Despite the fact that people believe that Mozart’s talent can be attributed to the early exposure to music that he received from his father, it is evident to musicians and instrumentalists alike today that his compositional talent far surpassed most musicians living at the time, including his father just a few years after his exploration of it. At the early age of 3, Mozart began his exploration with the piano, playing notes and engaging himself with scales. Just a year later, he had learnt how to play the violin and the organ, before he began composing at the age of 5. By the age of 6, he had composed his very first piece.
Noticing the exceptional talent of his children, Leopold Mozart devoted the rest of his life to ensuring that Mozart and his sister, Maria Anna (undoubtedly a gifted pianist but not a match for Wolfgang) found successful prospects in the field of music. In the years that followed, Leopold gave up his career as a composer to focus his energy on his children, who showed far more promise than he had ever imagined. He took his children to tour around the world, taking them on a succession of tours to perform, including cities like London, Frankfurt, Geneva and Zurich. Mozart, during the course of his years of touring, was said to be so remarkable that aristocrats refused to believe in the legitimacy of his talent, claiming them to be “fake”. The rapid success he gained over the next few years, however, were enough to prove to people around Europe that his talent was most assuredly real.
Mozart enjoyed fame during his tours and was repeatedly commended for the gifts he possessed. His extraordinary skills of improvisation, sight reading and natural inclination were marvelled at repeatedly, yet documentation of his life today seems to suggest that his income, despite the success of his tours was meagre. Mozart died at the early age of 35, and was suspected to be alone during the time of his death. The news of this brilliant composer’s death was not reported until a week later, when it was declared a poisoning. To this day however, people are unsure of this assessment and think it possible that he died simply due to medical illness and his inability to pay for an appropriate treatment.
While we may never know the true cause of this prolific composer’s early death, Mozart’s legacy continues to be celebrated even today for the quality of his work by musicians around the world. His compositions, to this day, are considered a vital hallmark to classical music composition in the 18th century around the world.