Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Life and Work

After extensive travels accompanying his father Leopold, the child prodigy Mozart spent twelve years in musical service to the Salzburg Archbishop Colloredo before moving to Vienna in 1781 where he worked as a freelance composer and music teacher. In 1787 he was appointed imperial-royal chamber musician. Together with Haydn and Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is regarded today as one of the three central protagonists of Viennese classicism. Within the realms of opera (including Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni, Così fan tutte, Die Zauberflöte), sacred music, orchestral, piano as well as chamber music, he created works of the highest quality and integrity.

1756

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is born on January 27 in Salzburg

1760

Mozart starts to play piano

1761

Wolfgang's first compositions are written down by his father Leopold

1762

First journey to Munich. Mozart and his sister Nannerl demonstrate their piano playing abilities to the elector Maximillian II. Composition of piano pieces

1762-1763

First journey to Vienna. Mozart performs for Emperor Franz I. and Empress Maria Theresia

1763-1766

Journey to Paris and London during which the children appear in numerous concerts. Composition of violin sonatas

1763

Arrival in Paris. December: the family visits Versailles

1764

Two sonatas are the first works by Mozart to appear in print. April: the family leaves for London where Mozart meets Johann Christian Bach.

1765

July: the family leaves London for Salzburg. On their way they visit France, Belgium, Holland and Switzerland. Mozart composes his first symphonies and violin sonatas.

1767-1769

Second journey to Vienna: Leopold, Anna and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart leave Salzburg on September 11, hoping that they can perform during concerts at the wedding ceremonies of the Archduchess Josepha with King Ferdinand IV of Naples.

1767

The Archduchess dies of smallpox on October 15. Due to the smallpox epidemic in Vienna, the Mozarts decide to leave and travel to Olmütz. Wolfgang and Nannerl still both get infected. Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots K. 35, Apollo et Hyacinthus K. 38

1768

January: the Mozarts return to Vienna. Emperor Joseph II probably proposes the composition of La finta semplice K. 51 (46a). Leopold Mozart makes plans for a journey to Italy. Bastien und Bastienne K. 50 (46b)

1769

Return to Salzburg. December: Leopold and Wolfgang leave for Italy.

1769-1771

First journey to Italy.

1770

While travelling to Milan Mozart receives the 'scrittura' for the carnival period of 1770/71: the composition of the opera Mitridate, Re di Ponto K. 87 as well as symphonies, church music, a string quartet and Betulia liberata K. 118 (74c). Using Milan as a base Leopold and Wolfgang travel through Italy. July 8: Mozart is awarded the medal "Vom Goldenen Sporn" by Pope Clemens XIV. Wolfgang probably studies with Padre Martini and visits performances of Italian operas. He is admitted to the Accademia filarmonica. December: 'Mitridate' is staged with great success. Mozart is asked to write another opera for Milan.

1771

Return to Salzburg. In August Wolfgang and Leopold leave for Italy again.

1771

Second journey to Italy.
Commission for a serenata for wedding ceremonies taking place in the emperor's family in Milano (Ascanio in Alba K. 111). Various works are composed. In December return to Salzburg.

1772

Various compositions: symphonies, church music (Regina coeli K. 127) Il Sogno di Scipione K. 126. October: Leopold and Wolfgang depart to Italy.

1772-1773

Third journey to Italy.

1772

Lucio Silla K. 135 is composed and premièred in Milan.

1773

Futile efforts by Leopold to obtain a post for his son with the Grand Duke of Tuscany. March: return to Salzburg.

1773

Third journey to Vienna.

1774

Wolfgang is commissioned to write an opera buffa for the Munich court: La finta giardiniera K. 196

1774-1775

Second journey to Munich. First performance of 'La finta giardiniera'.

1775

Archbishop Hieronymus Count Colloredo commissions Mozart and the court composer Domenico Fischietti to write the opera: Il re pastore K. 208

1776

Music for Thamos, König in Ägypten K. 345 (336a), piano concertos, serenades, masses, church sonatas

1777

Disputes with the new Archbishop of Salzburg. August: Leopold and Wolfgang are dismissed. Leopold's redundancy is retracted in September.

1777-1779

Journey to Paris.

1777

September: Mozart leaves with his mother for Munich where he unsuccessfully tries to obtain a post. From Munich the route leads to Augsburg and then to Mannheim, where the Mozarts stay until March 1778.
Continuation of the journey to Paris. In Mannheim and Paris Mozart composes Piano sonatas and Sonatas for Violin and Piano

1778

July 3: Death of Mozart's mother in Paris. September: Mozarts leaves Paris and travels to Mannheim, where he arrives in November although Leopold expressly forbade it. He unsuccessfully tries to find a post at the Mannheim court and leaves in December for Munich.

1779

Mozart returns to Salzburg in January. Coronation Mass K. 317

1780-1781

Journey to Munich (Idomeneo K. 366) and Vienna. Rift between Mozart and the Archbishop. Mozart begins the composition of 'The Abduction from the Seraglio'.

1782

July: First performance of The Abduction from the Seraglio K. 384. August: marriage to Constanze Weber. Mozart plans a journey to Paris in early 1783.

1783

First meeting with Lorenzo da Ponte. June 17: birth of the first child Raimund Leopold (died on August 19).
From end of July to end of November: Journey to Salzburg, where the unfinished Mass in C minor K. 427 (417a) is performed, including some settings from other works. October: Mozart travels to Linz. Linz Symphony K. 425

1784

'The Abduction from the Seraglio' is performed in Salzburg. Mozart is admitted to the Masonic lodge "Zur Wohltätigkeit". Piano Concertos in E-flat major K. 449, B-flat major K. 450, D major K. 451, G major K. 453, B-flat major K. 456 and F major K. 459, Piano Quintet K. 452, two of the Haydn Quartets (String Quartets in A major K. 464 and C major K. 465. September 21: birth of the second child Karl Thomas (died on October 31 1858 in Mailand)

1785

Piano Concertos in C major K. 467 and D minor K. 466, Maurerische Trauermusik K. 477 (479a)

1786

Première of The Marriage of Figaro K. 492. October 18: birth of the third child Johann Thomas Leopold (died on November 15)

1787

From January to mid-February: First journey to Prague. May 28: Leopold Mozart dies in Salzburg at the age of 68. From October to November: second journey to Prague, where 'Figaro' and Don Giovanni K. 527 are staged. December 27: birth of daughter Theresia.

1788

Three last symphonies K. 543, K. 550, K. 551. First arrangement of a work by Handel (Acis and Galathea) commissioned by Baron van Swieten. Death of daughter Theresia on June 29.

1789

From April to June: journey to Berlin. Arrangement of Handel's 'Messiah' for Baron van Swieten. Composition of 'Cosi fan tutte'. Clarinet Quintet K. 581. November 16: birth of daughter Anna, who lives only one hour.

1790

Première of Cosi fan tutte K. 588. From September to November: journey to Frankfurt/Main to visit the coronation of Emperor Leopold II. Mozart hopes that he can perform during concerts at the coronation ceremonies.

1791

July 26: Birth of son Franz Xaver (died on June 29 1844 in Karlsbad). Third journey to Prague, this time to attend the coronation of Leopold II who is crowned the King of Bohemia. On this occasion La clemenza di Tito K. 621 is composed and staged in Prague. Other works: Die Zauberflöte K. 620, Requiem Mass K. 626, Clarinet Concerto K. 622
At the end of November Mozart is taken ill and remains bedridden. In early December he receives generous offers from Hungary and Amsterdam for subscriptions of new compositions. December 5: Mozart dies in Vienna.