Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is the supreme exponent of classical music, indeed, for many music lovers, his music represents the essence of Western civilization itself.
Mozart was a child prodigy and a prolific genius, born in Salzburg, Austria. The house in which he was born is shown in the photo at right. His father Leopold was a violinist in the Archbishop's private orchestra. He travelled round Europe with his sister Marianne, (whom the family affectionately called Nannerl) at the age of six, performing as infant prodigies, and travelled extensively throughout his short life. Young Mozart (aged 6) and his sister Nannerl performed in front of King George III of England in 1763. He visited Italy and later, Munich, with his father Leopold, and then in 1777 at the age of 19, he visited Paris with his mother. There he wrote his Flute and Harp Concerto, and the Paris Symphony. Tragically, his mother died suddenly in Paris.
In 1778 he returned to Salzburg and became court and cathedral organist for the Archbishop. In 1781 he requested to leave his employment with the Archbishop of Salzburg, and was literally booted out! He moved to Vienna, married a singer, Constanze Weber, and started writing operas.
He was feckless with money, and was constantly borrowing money from other Freemasons. His success with his operas and other major orchestral works did not adequately support his family and his sick wife. He died in 1791 before completing his Requiem, many people affirm that he knew it was for himself! He was buried as pauper in Vienna.