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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Unveiling a Musical Genius

This is a series done by one of our instructors, Alec Arnett. Subscribe to the channel to be in the know when new episodes come out!

Musicology 101: The Life and Legacy of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Hello, I’m Alec, and welcome to the Red School of Music’s Musicology Series.

Today, we delve into the life of one of the most influential composers in western classical music – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Mozart, born in Salzburg, Austria, in 1756, and passing away in Vienna in 1791, was a remarkable child prodigy. Displaying exceptional talent, he began playing the keyboard at the age of three and attempted his first compositions by the age of four.

His father, Leopold Mozart, a skilled composer and violinist, devoted all his efforts to Wolfgang’s musical development.

Brief Composition History

Regarded as the most universal composer in western music history, Mozart excelled in various genres, including opera, piano concertos, symphonies, and chamber works. His most prolific period occurred in the mid-1780s, teaching, composing, and performing extensively.

Famous Written Pieces

In 1788, Mozart crafted two iconic operas, “The Marriage of Figaro” and “Don Giovanni,” along with the renowned Symphony No. 40 in G minor, often called “The Great G Minor Symphony,” evoking intense emotions.

Death and Legacy

Mozart’s career was at its peak in 1791, the year of his untimely death. He left behind two more successful operas, “The Magic Flute” and “The Clemency of Tito.” His demise, surrounded by mystery, occurred while working on a commissioned requiem mass. Though unfinished, one of his brightest pupils completed the requiem, showcasing Mozart’s enduring creative prowess even on his deathbed.

In the year of his death, 1791, his career was flourishing which makes his death all the more tragic. He had written two more wildly successful operas: The Magic Flute and The Clemency of Tito.

When he died on December 5th, 1791, he was working on a piece surrounded by great mystery. A mysterious stranger approached Mozart and paid him to compose a requiem mass.

Mozart died before completing the work, but one of his brightest pupils finished it in his name.

And the piece lives on today suggesting that Mozart even on his deathbed had full command of his creative powers.

So there is a brief introduction to the life and career of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. But before you go, let’s check what you learned.

Pause the video after each question and see if you can answer it. What year was Mozart born? What year did he die? Can you name one work by Mozart?

Thank you for tuning in today to the Red School of Music’s Musicology Series episode number one on Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Be sure to check in later for more installments in the series. Bye-bye!

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