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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1756-1791 Probably the greatest genius in Western musical history Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg Austria Jan 27 1756 the son of Leopold Mozart and his wife Anna Maria Pertl Leopold was a successful composer and violinist and assistant concertmaster at the Salzburg court whose archbishop Sigismund von Schrattenbach encouraged the activities of Leopold and his remarkable children Wolfgang began composing minuets at the age of 5 and symphonies at 9 When he was 6 he and his older sister Maria Anna embarked on a series of concert tours to Europes courts and major cities Both children played the keyboard but Wolfgang became a violin virtuoso as well In 1762 the Mozart children played at court in Vienna the Empress Maria Theresa and her husband Emperor Francis I received them cordially Later the Mozart children displayed 1763-66 their talents to audiences in Germany in Paris at court in Versailles and in London where Wolfgang wrote his first symphonies and was befriended by Johann Christian Bach whose musical influence on Wolfgang was profound In Paris the young Mozart published his first works four sonatas for clavier with accompanying violin 1764 In 1768 he composed his first opera La Finta Semplice for Vienna but intrigues prevented its performance and it was first presented a year later at Salzburg In 1769-70 Leopold and Wolfgang undertook a tour through Italy This first Italian trip culminated in a new opera Mitridate re di Ponto composed for Milan In two further Italian journeys he wrote two more operas for Milan Ascanio in Alba 1771 and Lucio Silla 1772 In 1772 Archbishop von Schrattenbach died to be succeeded by Hieronymus von Colloredo The latter at first sympathetic to the Mozarts later became irritated by Wolfgangs prolonged absences and stubborn ways In 1772 von Colloredo retained Wolfgang as concertmaster at a token salary In this capacity Mozart
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