Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Born - January 27, 1756
in Salzburg, Austria
Died - December 5, 1791
at the age of 35
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Birthplace Salzburg, Austria
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,
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 husband
and her son.
Family portrait
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
At age five he wrote
his first piece of
By age six he had
taught himself how to
play the violin without
ever having received
a lesson..
Clip from A&E Video
By age eight, he
wrote his first
And by age twelve he
wrote his first opera.
In his lifetime, he
wrote 626 pieces of
An easy way to remember
some of the numbers
When did he start playing the piano?
When did he write his 1st piece of music? 5
When did he write his 1st symphony?
How old was he when he died?
He was able to
write this incredible
amount of music
because he was
born with 2 special
Perfect Pitch
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
As Mozart reached
his 20’s, he grew
apart from his
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:
"LINZ" K.425
About His Music
music showed
an amazing
amount of
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
Clip from A&E Video
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
came true and
he died before
he was able to
finish it.
The final years
The Requiem
was later finished
by Franz Xaver
It was thought for
many years that
he was a former
student of
Mozart’s, but this
is a Myth.
Clip from A&E Video
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
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
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
Mozart’s Life (as told by Marge Simpson)