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Mozart's life

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Here a few words to Mozart's life, but there are so many books... The first about his life was the biography by Georg Nikolaus Nissen.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart on January 27, 1756 / 8pm in Salzburg, Getreidegasse 9 as seventh child. Five brothers and sisters died in baby age. The house Getreidegasse 9 belonged to the merchant Johann Lorenz Hagenauer (1719-1792). The Mozarts lived in a 4-room-flat in the third floor. Wolfgang Amadeus was baptized on January 28, 1756 in Salzburg Cathedral. Salzburg at that time had approximately 16,000 inhabitants. Cultural center were the religious court and Benediktiner-university founded 1623. The name Amadeus is Latin and means "love God". Mozart preferred Amedé, the French form of Amadeus.

Father Leopold, an established violin teacher, recognized very soon the musical talent ("Ich glaub, er hat’s vom lieben Gott") (I believe, god gave it to him) and supported him. Mozart said: „Nach dem lieben Gott koemmt gleich der Papa.“ (First there is the Lord above, but my papa is second). Already at the age of 5 years he composed. He wrote for 2 pianos and Duetts for a common play with his sister Maria Anna Walburga Ignatia ("Nannerl"). The first public appearance took place at the September 1, 1761 in Salzburg, as "salii" (dancer) in latin drama "Sigismund Hungariae Rex".

Mozart never studied at school or university, but he was close to Salzburg university with his compositions. He composed for his friends when they finished studies successfully. Nevertheless he learned several instruments, composition (he reached perfection in counterpoint in the Viennese years), mathematics and the languages Italian, French, English and Latin.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart playing with father Leopold and sister NannerlOn January 12, 1762 father Leopold started a journey with Wolfgang Amadeus and Nannerl for 3 weeks on art journey to Munich. Wolfang Amadeus and Nannerl played concerts there for cure prince Maximilian III. Joseph of Bavaria. In autumn 1762 the Mozart-family visited Vienna, where they were invited by empress Maria Theresia on October 13, 1762. Leopold wrote to his house gentleman Hagenauer on October 16 a letter saying: "Der Wolferl ist der Kayserin auf den Schooß gesprungen, sie um den Halß bekommen und rechtschaffen abgeküsst. Kurz wir sind von 3 uhr bis 6 uhr bei ihr gewesen" (Wolfgang jumped on empress and kissed her neck. We been there from 3 to 6.) Empress Maria Theresia thanked with valuable gifts, among other things the children received a golden cloth. As Wolfgang Amadeus slipped while playing princess Marie Antoinette (later French Queen and executed with Louis XVI) took him up, Wolfgang said: "Sie ist brav. Ich will sie heiraten!" (She is good, wanna marry her). Salzburg's prince archbishop Sigismund Christoph Graf von Schrattenbach supported generously Mozart's journeys.

On February 28, 1762 the prince-archbishop engaged Leopold Mozart as vice musical director. Wolfgang Amadeus played a concert in honor of prince archbishop's birthday.

In summer 1763 the Mozart-family traveled to Augsburg, the hometown of father Leopold, then to Belgium and France. Wolfgang Amadeus fascinated his audience. He was called "the small one with the big hands". During Wolfgang Amadeus' stay in Paris the works KV 6 and 7 were published as Opus I and KV 8 and 9 as Opus II. On April 23, 1764 the family arrived in London. Wolfgang Amadeus played on public performances and also played a concert for king George III. and his wife Sophie Charlotte.

Eleven months after the return to Salzburg the family traveled to Vienna, but there was a smallpox epidemic disease, so the Mozart-family traveled to Brno (Bruenn) and Olmuetz. Nevertheless Wolfgang Amadeus and Nannerl got sick.

On suggestion of emperor Joseph II., supported by Christoph Willibald Gluck, Wolfgang Amadeus started work on Opera buffa "La Finta semplice "KV 51 (46a) at end of January 1768. A intrigue prevented a performance, so (probable) it was first performed in May 1769 in Salzburg. Antonio Salieri was his biggest adversary at court.

On May 13, 1767 the school drama "Apollo et Hyacinthus" was performed in university. On March 12, 1767 "Die Schuldigkeit des ersten Gebots" (debt of the first Commandment) was first performed at Rittersaal (knight's hall) at Salzburg residence. In the years 1767 to 1769 further first performances took place; Mozart traveled to Vienna again. 1768 the opera "Bastien and Bastienne" and the "Waisenhausmesse" orphanage mass was performed in the house of F.A.Mesmer.

1769 became Wolfgang Amadeus leader of Salzburg court music - without salary. On December 13, 1769 Leopold and Wolfgang Amadeus started a journey to Italy. Mozart became acquainted with N. Piccini, G. B. Sammartini and the Kastraten C Farinelli and G. Manzuoli. In Verona Wolfgang Amadeus played his first Italian concert, in Milan received an order for the Opera seria "Mitridate, Re di Ponto "KV 87 (7â) for the Karneval-Stagione 1770/1771. The premiere took place on December 26, 1770 in Regio Ducal Teatro in Milan conducted by Wolfgang Amadeus. In Bologna he met the famous Italian music theoretician Padre Giovanni Battista Martini, who certified highest musical talent after an examination. In Rome he received insignias of the medal of the "golden spur" from the cardinal secretary count Pallavicini, who received it from Pope Clemens XIV. What a high honor, only Orlando di Lasso had received until this time. In October 1770 the opera "Mitridate, Rè di Ponto" was performed in Milan and played 21 times. On October 10, 1770 when Mozart already was returning after a test-work Wolfgang Amadeus became a member of Accademia Filarmonica.

Wolfgang Amadeus MozartOn March 28, 1771 both traveled to Salzburg again to work on the opera "Lucio Silla" for Milan's carneval 1772/1773. On August 13 Leopold and Wolfgang Amadeus traveled to Milan. On October 17, 1771 "Ascanio in Alba" was performed on the occasion of marriage of ore duke Ferdinand with princess Maria Ricciarda Beatrice d'Este of Modena.

On December 15, 1771 they returned to Salzburg. On December 16, 1771 Sigismund Christoph Graf von Schrattenbach, Mozart's employer and supporter, died. Prince archbishop Hieronymus Graf Colloredo became successor. He was open for new reform-ideas, but reserved to cultural activities. For his enthronement Mozart wrote "Il sogno di Scipione".

1772 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart became leader of the Salzburg court-ensemble. He traveled to Milan again with father Leopold for the performance of his work Dramma by musica "Lucio Silla "at Regio Ducal Teatro. A late return was explained with an illness of father Leopold - a pretence.

In autumn 1773 Mozart-family moved to Makartplatz 8-9 - Makart-square (at that time Hannibalplatz - Hannibal-square) to the so-called Tanzmeisterhaus (dance master house), which was named after the house owner Maria Anna Raab (1710-1788), mentioned "Tanzmeister-Mitzerl" (dance master Maria). The new flat had 8 rooms and a beautiful view to the square. On search for a new employment Mozarts traveled to Vienna from July 14 to September 26, 1773 and to Munich from December 6, 1774 to March 7, 1775. Unfortunately unsuccessful.

On April 23, 1767 the Serenata "Il Re pastore" was first performed in Rittersaal (knight's hall) at residence.

In August 1777 Mozart asked for dismissal for job-seeking. On September 23, 1777 6am early in the morning Wolfgang Amadeus and his mother Anna Maria traveled to Mannheim, prince archbishop Hieronymus rejected Leopold Mozart's application for a leave. In Mannheim Mozart became acquainted with Franz Fridolin Weber, his wife Maria Caecilia and their daughters Aloysia and Constance. Mozart fell in love with Aloysia.

In a letter at Abbé Bullinger on August 7, 1778 Mozart wrote: "Sie wissen, bester freuend, wie mir Salzburg verhasst ist! . . . daß Salzburg kein ort fuer mein Talent ist!" (You know, my best friend, how I hate Salzburg! ...that Salzburg is not a place for my talent!) and to his father he wrote on September 11, 1778 "was mich in Salzbourg degoutirt, ist, daß man mit den leueten keinen rechten umgang haben kann" (what I don't like in Salzburg that You cannot keep social contact to people).

He continued his journey to Paris, where his mother Anna Maria died on July 3, 1778 10pm. Mozart's creativity suffered at this time under the stroke of fate. He only wrote two important works: the Symphony in D major and the still missing Sinfonia concertante for brass. From his letters we know that he did not like Paris very much. The Paris music-life of the Ancien régime did not have claims of quality and was driven from vanities and national pride. Mozart returned to Salzburg in January 1779, where he was employed as court organist on January17, 1779.

At end of 1780 Mozart traveled to Munich for the performance of his serious opera (Opera seria) "Idomeneo, Re di Creta". On instruction of prince archbishop Hieronymus Mozart traveled to Vienna on March 12, 1781. Besides social contacts he met family Weber again, which moved from Mannheim to Vienna in 1779. The conflict between Mozart and the prince archbishop escalated, Mozart threatened not to return to Salzburg.

The Mozart-family frequently visited the Hoftheater (court-theatre) constructed 1775 and contacted the acting groups. Remarkable the group of Emanuel Schikaneder which started playing on September 17, 1780. Schiakneder became a texter for Mozart's works.

On November 5, 1780 Wolfgang Amadeus traveled to Munich alone to finish the opera Idomeneo. The first performance was a little later under presence from father Leopold and sister Nannerl.

Conflicts with prince archbishop escalated and ended up with quit of job on June 8, 1781. Mozart moved to Vienna to Deutschordenhaus working as concertpianist playing his works, as opera-composer and teacher. His pupils were (among others) Maria Theresia von Trattner, the wife of the publisher and owner of printering Johann Thomas von Trattner and Wilhemine Graefin von Thun. Later he moved to subtenancy in Caecilia Weber's house "Zum Auge Gottes" Milchgasse 1/Petersplatz 8/Tuchlauben 6 in Vienna 1. Aloysia meanwhile was married with the actor and painter Josef Lange. Mozart also played morning concerts in the park Augarten and in "Mehlgrube", a ball- and a concert hall at Neuer Markt.

On July 16, 1782 "Die Entfuehrung aus dem Serail" (The carry off Serail) was very successfully first performed at Burgtheater. On August 4, 1782 Mozart married Constance Weber at St.Stephan's Cathedral, which he had become acquainted with in Mannheim.

End of 1782 Mozart finished the first of six string-quartette dedicated to composer Joseph Haydn (KV 387, 421 (417b), 428 (421b), 458, 464, 465).

1783 Mozart an Constance traveled to Salzburg to his family, father Leopold and sister Nannerl. On October 26, 1783 the first performance of the C-Moll-mass KV 427 took place. Constance sang the Soprano. Johann Michael Haydn, a friend of the family, had order by archbishop to write duets for violin and viola, but could not work because of serious illness, so Mozart composed within a few days (KV 423 and 424) and published in Haydn's name.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart profile painting1784 Carl Thomas was born, it was Mozart's second child. In February Mozart catalogued his works as "listing of all of my works". It was published as facsimile in 1956. This index starts with piano concert E flat major KV 449. On April 1, 1784 in Burgtheater the Symphony KV 425 and 385, two piano concerts KV 450 and 451 and the piano-quintet KV 452 was performed.

1784 Mozart became member of the freemason's lodge "Zur Wohltätigkeit" (the charity), 1785 he became a master. He convinced his father Leopold, which joined too.

Mozart changed flat in Vienna 13 times. He lived in the "Camesinahaus" in Schulerstrasse 8 / Domgasse 5, named after stucco specialist Albert Camesina. Mozart even had a billard-room there. He wrote the opera "Le Nozze di Figaro" there. On Mozart's order the Librettist Lorenzo Ponte reworked the play "Le Mariage de Figaro" in such a way that it was not complained by the censors. Remarkable that this play deals with abolishment of noble's privileges and equalization of all people. The first performance was (only) 3 years before the French revolution.

On September 1, 1785 the publisher Artaria published with large dedication six string quartettes dedicated to Haydn.

On February 7, 1786 the opera "Der Schaupieldirector" (theatre director) was first performed at Orangerie in castle Schoenbrunn. On May 1, 1786 was the first performance of "Le Nozze di Figaro" at Burgtheater. After 9 performances the Figaro was off the schedule.

On May 28, 1787 father Leopold died in Salzburg.

1787 Mozart and his wife Constance traveled to Prague, where "Le Nozze di Figaro" was performed and the premiere of "Don Giovanni" in Staendetheater theatre end of October 1787 took place. "Don Giovanni" was a work in co-operation with Lorenzo da Ponte. Then Mozart traveled to Dresden, Meissen, Potsdam and Berlin, where he visited the court of the Prussia king Friedrich William II. With journeys and social obligations Mozart became financially under pressure and had to lend money from friends. On December 7, 1787 - after Christoph Willibald Gluck had died - Mozart became Kammermusikus (court musician). He received 800 guldens annually. But he lived in a modest suburban house in Landstrasse (now part of Vienna). "Don Giovanni" was performed 15 times in Vienna and then taken off the schedule. Emperor Joseph II. said: "this new opera, I know, is no good for the teeth of my Viennese".

1789 Mozart traveled to Berlin as companion of prince Lichnowsky.

On January 26, 1790 the opera "Cosi fan tutte", an ordered work, was first performed at Burgtheater and after the tenth performance set off the schedule. 1790 Mozart traveled to Frankfurt, where Leopold II. was crowned to emperor. This was brother and successor of emperor Joseph II. who died 1790. Then he went to Prague for the performance opera "La Clemenza di Tito" on September 6, 1790 on the occasion of the crowning of Leopold II. to king of Bohemia. On October 30, 1791 the first performance of opera "The Magic Flute" took place at Freihaustheater, a suburb theatre in Wieden (now a district of Vienna), directed by Emanuel Schikaneder. Mozart conducted from a concert-piano. Mozart's sister-in-law Josepha Hofer sang Queen of night, Schikaneder the Papageno. 24 performances in October and 35 until December is documentation of large success. This preserved Mozart and Schikaneder from financial ruin.

1791 Franz Xaver Wolfgang, Mozart's sixth child, was born, later known as W.A.Mozart (son). Mozart became a deputy musical director of St.Stephan in Vienna - withour salary. Mozart started working on Requiem KV 626. This by count F. Walsegg Walsegg-Stuppach ordered piece of work remained unfinished; on order of Constance J.L.von Eybler and F.X.Suessmayer have completed work; the Suessmayer-version is more famous. Mozart died on December 5, 1791 around 0h55 in his rooms in Rauhensteingasse 8 ("small emperor house") in Vienna by fever. On December 6, 1791 he was buried at St.Marxer cemetery in Vienna by josephenean 3rd-class funeral. The costs were 8 guldens and 56 cruisers. Constance was not present, she visited his grave 17 years after his death for the first time. The grave could not be located exactly, the honored grave with gravestone is an illusory and empty grave in honor of the composer.

Mozart's inheritance was

  • four sofas
  • 18 chairs
  • five cupboards
  • five tables
  • a billard-table
  • a secretary
  • a manuscript cupboard
  • two book-shelves
  • four beds
  • a Fortepiano
  • a spinett kitchen equipment
  • servant's equipment
  • a coach including horse

After Mozarts' death Constance contacted the publisher Johann Anton André. Six children Mozart's were born in Vienna, only two survived. The first son died after 2 months old, the third son not even one month, the first daughter died at the age of 8 months and the second daughter Anna was emergency-babtized and died on her day of birth. Carl Thomas was educated a merchant in Livorno and thereafter studied music by initiative of Joseph Haydn. 1810 he gave up and thereafter he worked as official. Franz Xaver Wolfgang was educated by Johann Georg Albrechtsberger, Johann Nepomuk Hummel, Antonio Salieri and George Joseph Vogler and became an important pianist and composer.

1809 Constance married the Danish diplomat Georg Nikolaus Nissen in Bratislava, who wrote the first Mozart-biography.

The first comprehensive listing of Mozart's works was provided Ludwig Ritter von Koechel and it was published 1862.

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