Born on January 27th in 1756, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a musician capable of playing multiple instruments. At the early age of five he demonstrated outstanding ability on harpsichord and the violin and started playing in public at the age of 6. He would soon go on to play the piano, organ and viola. Over the years, Mozart aligned himself with a variety of European venues and patrons, composing hundreds of works that included sonatas, symphonies, masses, chamber music, concertos and operas, marked by vivid emotion and sophisticated textures. Mozart’s death came at a young age, even for the time period. Yet his meteoric rise to fame and accomplishment at a very early age is reminiscent of more contemporary musical artists whose star had burned out way too soon. At the time of his death, Mozart was considered one of the greatest composers of all time. His music presented a bold expression, often times complex and dissonant, and required high technical mastery from the musicians who performed it. His works remained secure and popular throughout the 19th century. His work influenced many composers that followed, most notably Beethoven.
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