Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Born - January 27, 1756 in Salzburg, Austria Died - December 5, 1791 at the age of 35
Mozart was one of seven children however, only one other sibling survived, his older sister, Maryanne
Both exhibited unusual musical abilities at an early age and, with guidance and instruction from their father, Leopold, performed regularly in front of royalty.
Another important force in Mozart’s life was his mother Anna Maria. History suggest an alert, intelligent woman, earthy, and sensible, but profoundly torn by the power struggle between her husbandand her son.
Mozart was known as a child prodigy A prodigy is a person with exceptional talents far beyond what is normal for someone of that age. Note: He learned to speak 15 different languages throughout his lifetime
At three years old he began playing the piano. At age five he wrote his first piece of music. By age six he had taught himself how to play the violin without ever having received a lesson..
By age eight, he wrote his first symphony. And by age twelve he wrote his first opera. In his lifetime, he wrote 626 pieces of music.
An easy way to remember some of the numbers When did he start playing the piano? 3 When did he write his 1st piece of music? 5 When did he write his 1st symphony? 8 How old was he when he died? 35 FREAKY !!
He was able to write this incredible amount of music because he was born with 2 special gifts. Perfect Pitch&Photographic Memory
Perfect Pitch The ability to name the letter of a pitch simply by hearing it, or the ability to produce any pitch referred to by name.
Photographic Memory The ability to recall images, sounds, or objects in memory with great accuracy and in seemingly unlimited volume.
As Wolfgang was growing up, his father took him and his sister Maryanne on tours of Europe. Eventually, they went to Italy, the center of musical activity in the 1700’s
As Mozart reached his 20’s, he grew apart from his father. At the age of 26, he married Constanze Weber. They had 6 children, but only two sons survived past childhood.
In 1783 in the city of Linz (Austria's third largest city), Count Thun, announced a concert of Mozart's music. However, the situation was awkward because Mozart had no music prepared to play, and the concert was only four days away. Mozart wrote to his father: "As I have not a single symphony with me, I am writing a new one at breakneck speed.“ Against all odds, the work was finished in time.It is now known as:SYMPHONY NO. 36 IN C, "LINZ" K.425
About His Music Wolfgang’s music showed an amazing amount of sophistication. Many of his works show no corrections of any kind.
The final years By the time Mozart was in his 30’s, he worked all the time. As much as 15 hours a day writing music. Eventually, his hands became so deformed from writing that he couldn’t even cut his own food
The final years In the summer of 1791, a man came to Mozart and asked him to write a Requiem. This is a funeral Mass. He would not identify himself and Mozart became scared of him. He thought it was his Father coming back from the dead
The final years He accepted the work and an advanced fee. As he worked on it, he began to feel that he was writing the Requiem for himself. He told his wife, “I am afraid to finish it. I feel as though if I finish it, I will die”
The final years Sadly, his premonition came true and he died before he was able to finish it.
The final years The Requiem was later finished by Franz Xaver Süssmayr. It was thought for many years that he was a former student of Mozart’s, but this is a Myth.
The final years In 1985, the movie “Amadeus” named the unidentified man requesting the Requiem as Italian composer Antonio Salieri. History says that the person was Count Franz von Walsegg, who planned to claim he wrote it himself.
Mozart’s Death What was the cause of his death? On November 20, 1791, Mozart unexpectedly took ill - developing a high fever, headache, sweats, and severe swelling and pain in his hands and legs.
Mozart’s Death By the 14th day of his illness, the swelling had spread to his entire body. With the swelling came nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and a persistent rash.
Mozart’s Death On December 5, just fifteen days after the onset of the illness, the great musician suffered a convulsion, lapsed into a coma and died. Mozart's death is believed to have been caused by rheumatic fever and kidney failure.
Mozart’s Death Another Theory On June 15, 2001, A new theory about a plate of pork chops was introduced.
Mozart’s Death An American researcher found evidence that trichinosis -- an illness he would have contracted from eating undercooked pork--was the most likely cause of Mozart's demise.
Mozart’s Death What is trichinosis? Trichinosis is caused by eating the raw or undercooked meat of animals infected with the larvae of a worm called Trichinella. Infection occurs commonly in certain wild carnivorous (meat-eating) animals but can occur in domestic pigs.
Mozart’s Death “There are no remains of Mozart, so no theory can be fully proved or disproved...but this explanation would answer all the issues brought forth by the features of his death as they have been described,”
Mozart’s Death Trichinosis would typically kill a patient within 2 to 3 weeks. After finding written evidence that Mozart did eat pork shortly before his death--the symptoms the artist experienced are all best explained by trichinosis.
Mozart’s Death Mozart died on December 5, 1791 at the age of 35. Because Mozart died with very little money, he was given a commoners (or paupers) funeral. It was years later that his grave was marked with a tombstone.
Mozart’s Death Interesting Fact We do not know where Mozart is buried. We know he was buried in St. Marx cemetery in Vienna, Austria, but we do not know exactly where. For this reason, there are 2 grave sites. This one,
Mozart’s Death and this is the other
Mozart’s Death Records show that Mozart was taken to his grave in a wooden coffin and buried in a plot along with 4 - 5 other people; a wooden marker was used to identify the grave. However, at some stage during the next 5 - 15 years, his plot was dug up to make room for more burials. The bones were re-interred, possibly having been crushed to reduce their size; consequently, the position of Mozart's grave was lost.
Mozart’s Death There is still one final twist. In the early twentieth century the Salzburg Mozarteum was presented with a rather morbid gift: Mozart's skull. It was alleged that a gravedigger had rescued the skull during the 're-organization' of the composer's grave. Although scientific testing has been unable to either confirm or deny that the skull is Mozart's, there is enough evidence on the skull consistent with Mozart's symptoms before death
Mozart’s Death Mozart’s alleged skull