MARIA PLATT-EVANS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MARIA PLATT-EVANS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791), Austrian composer. Born in Salzburg, Mozart was a child prodigy possibly unequalled in western history. By the age of five he was composing for keyboard and violin, instruments which he played and on which he performed before the royalty of Europe. By the time of his death at the age of 35 he had written 626 catalogued works, most famously his operas, piano concertos and sonatas, symphonies, string quartets and other music. His work is the pinnacle of the Classical style, extending technical structures and emotional reach beyond those of his predecessors and contemporaries. Clarity, balance and transparency in his music underlie its often exceptional power. His influence of following generations cannot be overstated, the study of his work is a standard part of any classical music education in the western tradition.
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