Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Born: Salzburg, Austria, 27 January 1756
Toured Europe, 1763-1781
Lived in Vienna, 1781-1791
Died: Vienna, Austria, 5 December 1791

“Music is my life and my life is music. Anyone who does not understand this is not worthy of God.”
– Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

A prolific and brilliant composer of the Classical period, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in the city of Salzburg in 1756. His musical genius is still celebrated today as one of the most influential and singular talents of all time.

The son of a violinist and composer, Mozart’s profound musical gifts were evident from a tender age. He completed his first composition at the age of five, was published by age seven, and composed his first symphony at age eight. He was an excellent pianist and violinist and, together with his sister Maria Anna (known as Nannerl), travelled across the continent to perform for European royalty throughout his childhood years. By the age of 17, he had an engagement as a musician at the court of the Archbishop of Salzburg, though this appointment would not suit him for long. He grew restless in the provincial confines of Salzburg and dissatisfied with the lack of freedom and opportunity his position entailed.

Mozart made his fateful move to Vienna in 1781, where he first attempted to resign and then was dismissed from his Salzburg position in order to pursue an independent career in the capital.  As he put it, “For my métier, the best place in the world.” In Vienna Mozart achieved fame but little financial security, in due part to his lavish life style. It was here, however, that many of his best known works, encompassing virtually every genre, were brought to life and where he continued to dazzle and innovate as both a performer and prolific composer.  His oeuvre consists of more than 600 works — a great many of which are considered to be examples par excellence of their forms.

In the economic downturn that came wth the Austro-Turkish War in the late 1780s patronage support for musicians declined and Mozart found himself in increasing financial distress, despite his appointment as Chamber Composer to the court of emperor Joseph II.  In the last months before his death his prospects again improved, thanks in part to the spectacular success of his opera, The Magic Flute. At the same time, however, he fell ill.  His health deteriorated in late November and he died on 7 December 1791, only 35 years of age. The cause of his death has never been definitively determined. Though given an extremely modest burial, in accordance with the burial ordinances of the time, memorial services held for him in Vienna and Prague were very well attended, and his reputation and influence as a composer continued to soar exponentially after his death.

“O Mozart! immortal Mozart! What countless impressions of a brighter, better life hast thou stamped upon our souls!”
— Franz Schubert

Online Performances

Musical selections curated by our founding director, Professor Franz Szabo.

Symphonies, Nos. 39-41, K. 543, K. 550, K. 551
Concentus Musicus, Vienna
Nikolaus Harnoncourt, conductor
Live from the Stefaniensaal, Graz, Austria
Styriate Festival 2014

Concerto for piano and Orchestra, No. 20 in d minor, K. 466
Mitsuko Uchida, Piano & Conductor
Camerata Salzburg
Live from the Salzburg Festival, March 2001

Concerto for piano and Orchestra, No. 21 in C major, K. 467
Maurizio Pollini
Orchestra filarmonica della Scala
Riccardo Muti, conductor
Live from la Scala, 2004

Piano Concert No 25 in C major, K. 503
Paul Lewis, piano
Mahler Chamber Orchestra
Daniel Harding conductor
Live recording. London, Proms 2013

Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra, K. 622
Sharon Kam, Basset Clarinet
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Manfred Honeck, conductor
Live from the Estates Theatre, Prague, January 2006

Concerto for Horn and Orchestra No. 1 in D major K. 412/386b
Radek Baborák, horn
Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Daniel Barenboim, conductor
Live from the Estates Theatre, Prague, May 2006

Violin Concerto No.5 in A major, K. 219
Nicolaj Znaider, violin
Staatskapelle Berlin
Julien Salemkour, conductor
Live from from the Berlin State Opera, 2005

Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra in C major, K. 299
Tamara Coha Mandić, flute
Diana Grubišić Ćiković, Harp
Croatian Chamber Orchestra
Igor Tatarević, conductor
Live from the Croatian Music Institute Concert Hall, 12 October 2013

Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola, K. 364
Sergei Khachatrian, violin; Candida Thompson, viola
Amsterdam Sinfonietta
Live from the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, October 2015

Concert Aria “Ch'io mi scordi di te?” K. 505
Iris Van Wijnen, mezzo-soprano
Louis Lortie, piano
Bienne Soleure Symphony Orchestra
Kaspar Zehnder, conductor
Live from Henry Le Boeuf Hall, Brussels, 21 March 2019
The Queen Elizabeth Music Chapel Gala, 2019

Serenade for Orchestra No. 9 in D major K. 320 "Posthorn"
Luciano Marconcini, Posthorn
L'Orchestra I Pomeriggi Musicali
Pietro Mianiti, conductor
Live from the Teatro Dal Verme, Milan, 17 January 2013

Serenade for 13 Winds, Gran Partita K. 361/370a
Zefiro Ensemble
Live from Amsterdam, November 2011

Quintet for Piano and Winds in E flat Major, K. 452
Haochen Zhang, piano; Nathan Hughes, oboe; Anthony McGill, clarinet;
Kenneth Buncke, bassoon; Jennifer Montone, horn
Live from the La Jolla Music Society's Summer Fest 2017

Eine kleine Nachtmusik K. 525
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Karl Böhm, conductor
Live from the Musikverein, Vienna

Piano Sonata No 11 in A Major, K. 331
Alex Tuchman, piano
Live from NYU Black Box Theater, New York, March 2015

Sonata for Two Pianos, K. 448
Daniel Barenboim and Martha Argerich, pianos
Live from the Philharmonie, Berlin, 19 April 2014

Oboe Quartet in F-Major, KV 370
Alexei Ogrintchouk, Oboe; Baiba Skride, Violin;
Veronika Hagen, Viola; Sol Gabetta, Cello
Solsberg Festival 2017

Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, K. 478
Alina Pogostkina, Violin; Veronika Hagen, Viola;
Mischa Meyer, Cello; Jérôme Ducros, Piano
Live from the Solsberg Festival, Basel, Switzerland 2016

String Quartet No.15 in d minor, K. 421
Emerson String Quartet
Eugene Drucker and Philip Setzer – violins
Lawrence Dutton – viola, Paul Watkins - cello 
Live from Musashino Civic Cultural Hall in Tokyo, Japan, May 1991

String Quintet in G minor, K. 516 
Benjamin Bowman, Sini Simonen, Michel Camille, Steven Dann, Ursula Smith
Live from the South Denmark Music Academy, Esbjerg, Denmark, 22 August 2015
17th Esbjerg International Chamber Music Festival

Clarinet Quintet in A major, K. 581
Sabine Meyer, clarinet
The Armida Quartet
Martin Funda and Johanna Staemmler, violins
Teresa Schwamm, Viola; Peter-Phlilipp Staemmler, Violoncello
Live from the Kursaal, Meran, South Tyrol, 27 April 2019

Divertimento in E-flat major, K. 563
Veronika Eberle, Violin; Amihai Grosz, Viola; Sol Gabetta, Cello
Live from the Solsberg Festival, Basel, Switzerland 2016

Motet "Exsultate jubilate" K. 165
Regula Mühlemann, soprano
Staatskapelle Dresden
Andrés Orozco-Estrada, conductor
Live fom the Frauenkirche, Dresden, Germany, December 2016
ZDF Adventskonzert 2016

Coronation mass in C major, K. 317
Stefanie Steger, Soprano; Andrea Steger, contralto
Roman Pichler, Tenor; Hannes Tschurtschenthaler, Bass
VocalArt Brixen
Amarida Orchestra
Marian Polin, conductor
Live from the parish church of Niedervintl, South Tyrol, 20 August 2017
Musik Sommmer Pustertal

Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, K. 339
Chantal Santon-Jeffery, soprano; Marianne Crebassa, mezzo-soprano;
Julien Behr, tenor; Andreas Wolf, bass baritone
Ensemble Pygmalion
Raphaël Pichon, Director
Live from Saint Denis Cathedral, Paris, 11 June 2014

The Marriage of Figaro, comic opera in four acts, K. 492
Figaro: José van Dam, Susanna: Lucia Popp, Count Almaviva: Gabriel Bacquier, Countess Almaviva: Gundula Janowitz, Doctor Bartolo: Kurt Moll, Marcellina: Jane Berbié, Cherubino: Frederica von Stade, Don Basilio: Michel Sénéchal, Antonio: Jules Bastin, Don Curzio: Jacques Loreau, Barbarina: Danielle Perrier.
Orchestre de l'Opéra national de Paris
Sir Georg Soliti, conductor
Live from the Opera de Paris, 1980

Don Giovanni, opera in two acts, K. 527
Don Giovanni: Samuel Ramey; Leporello: Ferruccio Furlanetto; Donna Anna: Anna Tomowa-Sintow; Donna Elvira: Julia Varaday; Zerlina: Kathleen Battle; Don Ottavio: Gösta Winbergh; Masetto: Alexander Malta; il Commendatore; Paata Burchuladze.
Konzertvereingung Wiener Staatsoperchor
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Herbert von Karajan, conductor
Live from the Grosses Festspielhaus, Salzburg
Salzburg Festival, July 1987

Cosí fan tutte, comic opera in two acts, K. 588
Fiordiligi: Barbara Frittoli, Dorabella: Angelika Kirchschlager, Despina: Monica Bacelli, Guglielmo: Bo Skovhus, Ferando: Michael Schade, Don Alfonso: Alessandro Corbelli
Chor der Wiener Staatsoper
Orchester der Wiener Staatsoper
Riccardo Muti, conductor
Live from Theater an der Wien, Vienna
Wiener Festwochen 1996
Act 1:
Act 2:

The Magic Flute, Singspiel in two acts, K. 620
Tamino (tenor) Will Hartmann; Pamina (soprano) Dorothea Röschmann Queen of the Night (soprano) Diane Damrau Sarastro (bass) Franz-Josef Selig Papageno (baritone) Simon Keenlyside; Papagena (soprano) Ailish Tynan Monostatos (tenor) Adrian Thompson First Lady (soprano) Gillian Webster: Second Lady (mezzo-soprano) Christine Rice; Third Lady (mezzo-soprano) Yvonne Howard Speaker of the Temple (baritone) Thomas Allen First Priest (tenor) Matthew Beale; Second Priest (bass) Richard Van Allan First Man in Armour (baritone) Alan Oke; Second Man in Armour (bass) Graeme Broadbent First Boy Zico Shaker; Second Boy Tom Chapman; Third Boy John Holland-Avery
The Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Sir Colin Davis, conductor
Live from Covet Garden, 2011
Act 1:
Act 2:

Requiem, K. 626
Gundula Janowitz, soprano; Christa Ludwig, mezzo soprano; Peter Schreier, tenor, Walter Berry, bass
Chorus of the Vienna State Opera
Vienna Symphony Orchestra
Karl Böhm, conductor
Filmed in the Piaristenkirche, Vienna, 1971

Watch the full collection of performances on our YouTube channel!