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Biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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1718 Grandfather Johann Georg Mozart, bookbinder in Augsburg, marries Anna Maria Sulzer.

1719 Mozart’s father Leopold is born as the son of this couple in Augsburg.

1720 Mozart’s mother Anna Maria Pertl is born at St.Gilgen, a village near Lake Wolfgang , not far from Salzburg.

1737 Leopold Mozart settles in Salzburg.

1747 Leopold Mozart marries Anna Maria Pertl in the Cathedral of Salzburg.

1751 On July 30th Maria Anna Walpurga Ignatia is born as the fourth child of the couple. She is nicknamed "Nannerl".

1756 On January 27th, the seventh child of the couple is born in Getreidegasse. His complete name is: Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgang Gottlieb Mozart. Gottlieb was later changed - according to ist meaning - into Amadeus.

1760 Mozart’s father mentions Wolfgang’s earliest compositions. Wolfgang grows up in a harmonious family atmosphere.

1762 Konstanze Weber born, Mozart’s wife of 20 years later. First artistic tour with father and sister to Munich (January). Second tour (September), this time to Vienna.

1763 June 9th :journey of the whole family (father, mother, Nannerl, Wolfgang) to Germany and France.

1764 From France the journey is continued to England, with numerous concerts. Compositions (started in 1762) are carried on. Mozart writes his earliest symphony. First meeting with Johann Christian Bach, the youngest son of Thomas-Kantor J.S.Bach (died 14 years before), who reaches the climax of his career in London and deeply impresses and influences young Mozart. Mozart gets acquainted with the Italian symphony and opera.

1765 From England to France and the Netherlands.

1766 From the Netherlands via France to Switzerland, to Germany and back to Salzburg (November 30th), three and a half years after their departure.

1767 The family travels to Vienna (September) where the boy is infected by smallpox. In Vienna Mozart composes the music for the musical comedy "Bastien and Bastienne".
First performance: Vienna, 1767.

1769 Return to Salzburg. Appointment as unpaid concert master of the Archiepiscopal Court Music. Departure for Italy (with his father) on the first of three extensive Italian journeys that took them as far as Naples. On their journey the boy could increase his knowledge of Italian music. His first public appearance in Innsbruck, Verona, Mantua, Milano, Bologna, Florence and Rome was a triumphal success.

1770 In Bologna Mozart got instruction from the famous music theoretician Padre Martini. On the return journey he was received into the "Philharmonic Academy". In Rome the Pope awarded him the "Order of the Golden Spur" which was linked with the title of Cavaliere.

1771 Second journey to Italy.

1772 For the inauguration of the new Archbishop Hieronymus Count Colloredo Mozart composes the cantata "Il sogno di Scipione". He becomes concert master of the Court Chapel and starts his last Italian journey.

1773 Negotiations about an employment in Florence and Vienna break down.

1776 Increasing tensions in the Archbishop’s service.

1777 Departure with his mother to Mozart’s cousin Maria Anna („Bäsle“), then to Mannheim where Mozart has a first serious love entanglement. It is Aloysia Weber, the sister of his later wife. His father protests vehemently against any eventual plans of marriage. In Mannheim Mozart is received kindly by Johann Christian Cannabich, the director of the famous Mannheim Orchestra and the Mannheim attempts at creating a German opera were very influential for Mozart.

1778 The Mozarts leave Mannheim and travel to Paris. Mozart’s mother dies there on July 3rd.

1779 Return to Salzburg where Mozart is appointed Court and Cathedral organist.

1781 Mozart is ordered to go to Vienna where the Grandes of the Habsburg Empire have assembled on the occasion of Joseph II’s enthronement and Salzburg’s Archbishop wants to present his orchestra. But as Mozart wants to play a concert on his own, this leads to a clash and Mozart is dismissed from the Archiepiscopal service. A final meeting with Count Arco, Lord Chamberlain, ends with a kick-out for the unruly musician. In this way Mozart ended his position of being "in service" - which was the usual one for most contemporary musicians - and had to depend on earning his living as a free-lance artist. He settles in Vienna and is given a royal commission for an opera. He gets into closer contact with Konstanze Weber, Aloysia’s sister.

1782 First performance of Mozart’s Singspiel "Die Entführung aus dem Serail" ( = The Seraglio) on July 16th. On August 4th he marries Konstanze. His wife was somewhat superficial and pleasure-loving. Although she was not without interest in music, she was not aware of Mozart’s genius, right until his death.

1783 Mozart’s activities as a free-lance artist seem to be promising. The first Vienna years were very fertile. He gave piano lessons, played in concerts and organised his own "academies".

1784 Mozart becomes a member of the Freemasons’ Lodge "Zur Wohlfahrt" ("Welfare") for which he wrote several compositions. He frequently gives concerts in public halls and in palaces of the nobility.

1785 Father Leopold visits his son in Vienna. Mozart makes friends with Haydn to whom he dedicates six string quartets.

1786 First performance of the opera "Le nozze di Figaro" ("The marriage of Figaro") on May 1st in Vienna.

1787 Mozart travels to Prague where his "Figaro" finds great recognition. He conducts it there himself for once, gets a commission for an opera and returns to Vienna. His father dies in Salzburg. He is appointed "Imperial Chamber Musician" in the place of the late Christoph Willibald Gluck. On August 29th "Kleine Nachtmusik" is finished. On October 29th Don Giovanni is first produced in Prague.

1788 The Viennese first performance of Don Giovanni does not get the same triumphal reception as at Prague. In summer Mozart composes his last three symphonies in just 3 weeks, i.e.: E-flat major, K 543, G minor, K 550 and C major, K 551 (Jupiter Symphony). Mozart’s financial situation deteriorates constantly although his income would be sufficient.

1789 The financial problems of Mozart increase, he writes begging letters to a Lodge brother.

1790 He composes Cosi fan tutte, an opera commissioned by the Emperor. The performances are not very successful and soon disappear from the repertory; this may be partly due to the Emperor’s death. Mozart journeys to the new Emperor’s Coronation at Frankfurt, at his own expense. He gets into closer contact with Emanuel Schikaneder, an actor, singer and theatre manager whom he had known for years.

1791 Schikaneder gives Mozart a commission for a "magic opera" (i.e. "The Magic Flute"). In July he is commissioned to write a Requiem Mass. The patron is Count Franz Walsegg of Stuppach. This is Mozart’s last (unfinished) composition. On September 30th the Magic Flute is produced with great success at Schikaneder’s Theater an der Wien (or Freihaustheater). The success increases from from performance to performance. In the end it is this opera which contributed most of all to Mozart’s world-wide fame. After a few days of severe illness Mozart dies on December 5th. Konstanze was at Baden, taking a cure at the spa. The funeral service at St.Stephen’s on the following day was attended by a few friends only, but nobody accompanied the hearse taking the body to the cemetery of St.Marx. He was interred in a pauper’s grave with a few others and without a tombstone, according to the customs of the time, so that his final resting place can only be guessed. In memory of Mozart’s tomb a statue has been placed at St.Marx cemetery.

1842 Setting up of a Mozart memorial in Salzburg.