Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Mozart was a true prodigy, revealing his formidable musical gifts as a young child. Born in Salzburg, Mozart came from musical roots although his violinist-composer father did not nearly possess the skills of the son. What the father did know was how to market his children (Mozart's sister was a gifted pianist) and Mozart's childhood was spent performing before crowned heads-of-state and the public in Munich, Vienna, Frankfurt, Paris, London, and in the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Italy. By age 16, Mozart had written perhaps 25 symphonies and several quartets. He went on to write concertos, masses, compositions for flute, piano, violin, viola and clarinet. Mozart's operas -- The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and Cosi fan tutte -- remain tremendously popular, as do all of his other works. He died young, in severely constrained financial straits, leaving behind creations enough to ensure his musical immortality.