Happy birthday, Mozart!

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, genius composer, music composer, pianist, birthday, musician
A portrait of Austrian Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) by German painter Johann Edlinger hangs in Berlin's Gemaeldegalerie. The portrait, painted in 1790, is allegedly the last depiction of Mozart before his death. The painting was re-discovered in 1999, and has sparked controversy as not all specialists believe it depicts the Austrian composer. Photo: AFP

Today is the 260th birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the most prolific, influential and genius composers and pianists of all time.

He was originally baptised Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart. But he liked to go by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Amadeus means love of God and is the Latin version of the Greek Theophilus. Mozart's family name (the one used at home) was 'Wolferl'.

Picture taken 20 December 2005 shows the old part of Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart with the fortress Hohensalzburg in the background. Photo: AFP

He had written eight operas by the age of 16. And performed in London at the age of 9. He played there so well for a child that everyone suspected him to be an adult dwarf.

Did you know it would take 202 hours to listen to all the music Mozart wrote in his short life?

The original violine training book of Leopold Mozart from 1769 called Violinschule seen at the special exhibition Viva!Mozart at the Salzburg Museum Carolinum Augusteum 25 January 2006 in the city of Salzburg. The exhibition went on from 27 January 2006 to 07 January 2007 and was dedicated to the genius loci Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. From the stone corridors of China's Forbidden City to the iconic seaside of the Sydney Opera House, Asia was ringing with the music of Mozart on the 250th anniversary of his birth 27 January 2006. Photo: AFP

This legend was born in 1756, in Salzburg, Austria to Leopold Mozart and Anna Maria. At 17, he was engaged as a musician at the Salzburg court.

He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, andchoral music.

He has fair share of influence over the successive musicians. Ludwig van Beethoven composed his own early works in the shadow of Mozart, and Joseph Haydn wrote that "posterity will not see such a talent again in 100 years".

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's original Anton-Walter-piano is pictured at Mozart's former apartment in central Vienna October 25, 2012. Photo: Reuters

Le Nozze di Figaro (Figaro's Wedding), Don Giovanni, Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail (The Abduction from the Seraglio) are few of the greatest operas by Mozart. His finest stage works stand comparison to those of Shakespeare.

One of Mozart's 'party tricks' was to play the piano with the keys covered by a cloth. Mozart was only 8 when he wrote his first symphony. He is still counted among the greatest child prodigies in the history.

Famous bands like Vienna Mozart Orchestra, continues to perform pieces by Mozart and are loved greatly all over the world.

A museum called Mozart's Birthplace has been established in 1880 at the home this legend took birth in, at 9 Getreidegasse in Salzburg, Austria. The museum introduces visitors to the early life of the composer, his first musical instruments, his friends and his passionate interest in opera.


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