Mozart: A Complete Biography

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Mozart: Fool of a Genius

Joseph Tu

Senior Division

Individual Paper

Independent, freelance musicians are rarely seen, but after a rough dismissal by Archbishop Colloredo, that was what Mozart became. After Mozart's tragic dismissal, he traveled to Vienna with the hopes of becoming employed in the court of Emperor Joseph II. Although his hopes were tragically disappointed, he managed to triumph in all musical categories and earned a high wage.

Mozart explored all fields of music but was particularly interested in the genre of opera. At the time, opera was the most high-paying road for a musician to take. Not only did Mozart triumph in this genre, he changed the way it was written and performed, "The former 'gallant' virtuosic contest between soloist and orchestra of the earlier, pre-Vienna works is resolved by Mozart, transforming it instead into a stark, dramatic contrast."1 However, a lack of money-control led Mozart to a tragic situation as a debtor before he died.

Mozart's Rise to Fame

Born in Salzburg, Austria on 27 January 1756, the child was christened Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. His father, Leopold, a composer, violinist, court musician and chamber composer, already triumphed with his book, "The Violin School." As children, Mozart, and his sister Nannerl, showed great musical talent and Leopold began to devote all of his spare time to further his children's skill for himself and the family, "[…] he surrendered his chances for advancement in his career, preferring to gamble on his children providing for the security of the family."2

Realizing that the gifts Nannerl and Wolfgang had could lead them to success far greater than the confines of Salzburg, Leopold took the whole family on a tour in mid-1763. First, they traveled to Munich and then to Vienna, where Mozart and Nannerl...