Born on January 27, 1756, he was given the incredibly
long moniker of Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus
Theophilus Mozart. His father taught him and his sister to
play instruments and managed their careers. At the age of
six, Wolfgang played to Empress Maria Theresa in the
palace in Vienna. He then jumped up into her lap and
hugged and kissed her. The little boy prodigy, in the
powdered wig, became the talk of the town. By the age of
twenty-five, and well-traveled, he had 350 compositions to
his name. He opted to remain in Vienna as a freelance
musician, writing commissioned pieces and giving piano
lessons - thus escaping the clutches of his over-bearing
father. It was the most prolific period of his life. In 1782 he
married Constanze Weber in the Gothic cathedral of St.
Stephen, in Vienna. The couple stayed together until his
death despite several affairs. They had six children, only two
of whom survived infancy.
The movie Amadeus was about the competition between Mozart and Salieri, commanded by Joseph II. Mozart was only 30 years old at the time and at the peak of his career but only earned half of what Salieri made for his performances. The emperor preferred Salieri's work.
Mozart wrote over 600 works during his lifetime, including 41 symphonies and 27 piano concertos. The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, and Don Giovanni are three of his most famous operas. He is also famous for his Requiem Mass. If his music were played without stopping piece after piece, it would take eight, 24-hour days to play it all.
St. Stephen's, where Mozart was married and where his funeral service was held, is still a landmark in Vienna. He died December 5, 1791, of a severe fever. He was only thirty-five years old. That he is remembered and revered 226 years later - speaks volumes - or symphonies.