Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
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1756-01-27
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/b972f589-fb0e-474e-b64a-803b0364fa75
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Biography

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg in 1756, the son of a violinist at the court of the local Prince-Archbishop. His father, recognising early the boy’s extraordinary musical talents, proceeded to take him on performing tours throughout Europe so ...

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Biography

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg in 1756, the son of a violinist at the court of the local Prince-Archbishop. His father, recognising early the boy’s extraordinary musical talents, proceeded to take him on performing tours throughout Europe so that he could be exposed to as wide a range of musical styles and cultural milieux as possible. By the age of 16 Mozart had visited England, Italy, France and Germany, had met many important musical and political figures, and had had three operas performed in Milan.

It was the sort of education he could never have gained in Salzburg; and, while the constant travelling may have contributed to his lifelong poor health, it was doubtless also a major factor in the formation of his cosmopolitan musical style.

Throughout the 1770s, however, Mozart was a member of the Salzburg orchestra. Growing frustration with his position led him to try his luck in Mannheim and Paris in 1777–8, but the trip brought only disappointment and within a few months he was back in Salzburg. A breakthrough of sorts came when a commission from Munich led to his first great opera, Idomeneo (1781), a work into which he poured all of the musical experience he had so far gained.

The year 1781 finally saw him break with Salzburg and move to the musically more sophisticated Vienna, where he embarked on the life of a freelance composer, pianist and teacher. At first he enjoyed considerable success, particularly as a pianist in his own concertos and with his lively comic opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail (1782). There followed three of his greatest operatic masterpieces – The Marriage of Figaro (1786), Don Giovanni (1787) and Così fan tutte (1790) – but by the time of the last his popularity had waned and he found himself seriously in debt. He died in December 1791, not long after the successful premiere of his final opera, The Magic Flute.

Profile by Lindsay Kemp © BBC

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony no. 25 in G minor K.183; 1st movement; Allegro con brio
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Symphony no. 25 in G minor K.183; 1st movement; Allegro con brio
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sonata for violin and keyboard (K.379) ..., 1st movement; Adagio - allegro
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Sonata for violin and keyboard (K.379) ..., 1st movement; Adagio - allegro
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
"Basta vincesti" (recit) and "Ah, non lasciami" (aria) (K.486a)
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"Basta vincesti" (recit) and "Ah, non lasciami" (aria) (K.486a)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony No.17 in G, K.129
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Symphony No.17 in G, K.129
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Piano Sonata in C major, K.330
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Piano Sonata in C major, K.330
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
String Quartet in D major K.575: 1st mvt: Allegretto
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String Quartet in D major K.575: 1st mvt: Allegretto
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Overture (reconstructed) to Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, K.384
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Overture (reconstructed) to Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, K.384
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Der Schauspieldirektor, Overture
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Der Schauspieldirektor, Overture
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Constanze's aria "Martern aller Arten" from 'Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail Act 2
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Constanze's aria "Martern aller Arten" from 'Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail Act 2
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Concerto for piano and orchestra no. 21 (K.467) in C major, 3rd movement
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Concerto for piano and orchestra no. 21 (K.467) in C major, 3rd movement
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
'L'ho perduta' (The Marriage of Figaro)
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'L'ho perduta' (The Marriage of Figaro)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Rondo in B flat major, K.269
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Rondo in B flat major, K.269
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Divertimento in B flat major K.137
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Divertimento in B flat major K.137
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony no. 40 K.550, 1st mvt; Allegro
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Symphony no. 40 K.550, 1st mvt; Allegro
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The Marriage of Figaro - finale
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The Marriage of Figaro - finale
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Serenade (K.388) in C minor for wind octet (K.384a)
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Serenade (K.388) in C minor for wind octet (K.384a)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sonata for violin [or fl] and keyboard [vc ad lib] (K.15) in B flat major
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Sonata for violin [or fl] and keyboard [vc ad lib] (K.15) in B flat major
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Piano Sonata no.3 KV281 1st movement
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Piano Sonata no.3 KV281 1st movement
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Nehmt meinen Dank, ihr holden Gonner! - aria K.383 for soprano and orchestra
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Nehmt meinen Dank, ihr holden Gonner! - aria K.383 for soprano and orchestra
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The Magic Flute (Overture)
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The Magic Flute (Overture)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The Magic Flute (Der Vogelfanger bin ich ja)
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The Magic Flute (Der Vogelfanger bin ich ja)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Introduction & Ruhe sanft mein ganzes Leben, from Zaide, K.344
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Introduction & Ruhe sanft mein ganzes Leben, from Zaide, K.344
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Symphony no. 35 (K.385) in D major "Haffner", 1st movement; Allegro con spirito
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Symphony no. 35 (K.385) in D major "Haffner", 1st movement; Allegro con spirito
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Rondo concertante for violin and orchestra (K.269) in B flat major
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Rondo concertante for violin and orchestra (K.269) in B flat major
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Don Giovanni - (K.527), Act 2, no.16; Deh, vieni alla finestra
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Don Giovanni - (K.527), Act 2, no.16; Deh, vieni alla finestra
George Frideric Handel
Overture and prelude to act II of Acis and Galatea K. 566
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Overture and prelude to act II of Acis and Galatea K. 566
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Rondo (Concert rondo) for horn and orchestra in E flat major (K.371)
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Rondo (Concert rondo) for horn and orchestra in E flat major (K.371)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Quartet for piano and strings (K.478) in G minor
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Quartet for piano and strings (K.478) in G minor
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Clarinet Concerto in A, K.622, ii. Adagio
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Clarinet Concerto in A, K.622, ii. Adagio
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Rondo alla Turca (3rd movement from Piano Sonata No.11 in A, K.331)
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Rondo alla Turca (3rd movement from Piano Sonata No.11 in A, K.331)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Piano Concerto no. 23 in A major K.488; 3rd movement; Allegro vivace assai
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Piano Concerto no. 23 in A major K.488; 3rd movement; Allegro vivace assai
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Quartet for oboe and strings (K.370) in F major, 3rd movement; Rondeau
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Quartet for oboe and strings (K.370) in F major, 3rd movement; Rondeau
Add music you love and enjoy it
Playlists featuring Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Radio 3 Breakfast: Music Box
Radio 3 Breakfast: Music Box
BBC Orchestras and Choirs
BBC Orchestras and Choirs
Essential Classics: Guest Choices
Essential Classics: Guest Choices
BBC Proms 2015: Katie Derham Curates
BBC Proms 2015: Katie Derham Curates


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Biography

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg in 1756, the son of a violinist at the court of the local Prince-Archbishop. His father, recognising early the boy’s extraordinary musical talents, proceeded to take him on performing tours throughout Europe so that he could be exposed to as wide a range of musical styles and cultural milieux as possible. By the age of 16 Mozart had visited England, Italy, France and Germany, had met many important musical and political figures, and had had three operas performed in Milan.

It was the sort of education he could never have gained in Salzburg; and, while the constant travelling may have contributed to his lifelong poor health, it was doubtless also a major factor in the formation of his cosmopolitan musical style.

Throughout the 1770s, however, Mozart was a member of the Salzburg orchestra. Growing frustration with his position led him to try his luck in Mannheim and Paris in 1777–8, but the trip brought only disappointment and within a few months he was back in Salzburg. A breakthrough of sorts came when a commission from Munich led to his first great opera, Idomeneo (1781), a work into which he poured all of the musical experience he had so far gained.

The year 1781 finally saw him break with Salzburg and move to the musically more sophisticated Vienna, where he embarked on the life of a freelance composer, pianist and teacher. At first he enjoyed considerable success, particularly as a pianist in his own concertos and with his lively comic opera Die Entführung aus dem Serail (1782). There followed three of his greatest operatic masterpieces – The Marriage of Figaro (1786), Don Giovanni (1787) and Così fan tutte (1790) – but by the time of the last his popularity had waned and he found himself seriously in debt. He died in December 1791, not long after the successful premiere of his final opera, The Magic Flute.

Profile by Lindsay Kemp © BBC

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