Mozart was born on 27th January, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria. He was capable of playing multiple musical instruments from an early age; he played the clarinet, keyboard and violin in public at the age of six years. His success in music at an early age was influenced by his father, Leopold, who was a successful composer, violinist and a concert master at Salzburg. Mozart followed in the footsteps of his father. He started his main career as a court musician in Salzburg at the age of 17 years. Mozart and his sister, who was also talented in music, started travelling in major European cities with the assistance of their father. They performed in the courts in Paris, London, Hague and Zurich. During the tours, Mozart met with other successful musicians who had a strong influence on his future work.
His first formal employment started in 1773; he was an assistant concertmaster in Salzburg.
The employment gave him the opportunity to experiment with new music genres such as Operas, Sanatas and Serenades. Despite his new accomplishments in composing and playing musical instruments, Mozart was not satisfied due to the small salary and the confining environment in Salzburg that gave him a small chance of developing his career. The Archbishop of Salzburg, who had offered the job to Mozart, was impressed by Mozart but was now becoming impatient with the young man’s complaints and poor attitude towards his role as an assistant concertmaster. Mozart left Salzburg in 1977 to look for a better employment, but the archbishop provided a person to accompany him since he was reluctant to give permission to leave. Despite the availability of many promising opportunities, Mozart could not secure what he wanted, and his problems increased when his mother died in 1778. His father assisted him by renegotiating for a better position for him in Salzburg and Mozart agreed to return in 1779. However, his relationship with the archbishop did not considerably improve leading to his abrupt dismissal in 1781.
Mozart easily found new job opportunities in Vienna in which he taught writing music for publications and also performed in concerts as a freelancer. He started composing an opera known as Die Entführung aus dem Serail in 1781. He got married to Constanze in 1782 despite the earlier opposition by his father on the marriage plans. During the same period, Mozart met with several people such as Joseph Haydn, with whom he collaborated in performing impromptu concerts with string quartets.
Mozart’s fame in Europe was largely contributed by the success of his opera, Die Entführung. The Opera, together with his concert performances, provided a steady source of substantial returns. Mozart started having a lavish lifestyle with his wife and two children, with whom he lived in expensive apartments and the children attended expensive schools. 1784 was the most prolific year for Mozart in which he performed 22 concerts in five weeks. His concerts were usually very well attended thus increasing the amount of money generated.
The late years were mainly characterized by financial challenges and lower success in his career. Mozart wanted to assume an isocratic stature, and this influenced his work. He often ran in debts due to his lavish lifestyle, but most of the time, he was able to settle the debts out of his concert performances. Mozart died in 1791 at the age of 35; the cause of his death was uncertain. His wife continued to sell his musical compositions in which she raised enough money to provide financial security for the family.
In general, much of Mozart’s success during the early years can be attributed to his father who ensured he received education in music and also arranged and facilitated his performance in different places across Europe. He was one of the major contributors in the music industry during his short lifetime. Mozart’s lavish lifestyle and reduced opportunities in Vienna during his late years were the major factors for his failures.