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Mozart is and was a remarkable musician and composer whose legend continues to grow more than two centuries after his death. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria in 1756. Before the age of four, he had exhibited such extraordinary powers of musical memory and ear-sophistication that his father, Leopold, a highly esteemed violinist and composer in his own right, decided to give his son, Wolfgang, harpsichord lessons. From day one of his lessons, the boy's reputation as a fast learning, modern, talented musician grew fast. At five, he was composing music; at six, he was a keyboard virtuoso, so much so that Leopold took Wolfgang and his sister Maria Anna on a performance tour of Munich and Vienna. From that time on, young Mozart was constantly performing and writing music. He was the toast of Austria, and gave many concerts of prepared works and improvisation. Wherever he appeared, people were astounded by his gift for music. By his early teens, he had mastered the piano, violin and harpsichord, and was writing keyboard pieces, oratorios, symphonies and operas. His first major opera, Mitridate, was performed in Milan in 1770. He was 14 and he was being compared to Handel, probably the most famous classical composer of the day. At fifteen, Mozart was invited to be the concertmaster in the orchestra of the Archbishop of Salzburg. Things did not go very well. Mozart and the Archbishop constantly argued, and in 1781, Mozart said goodbye to the bishop and hello to Vienna, against his father's wishes.Now a grown man, Mozart thrived in Vienna. He was in great demand as a performer and composition teacher, and his first opera, The Abduction from the Seraglio, was a hit in Vienna. But life for him was not easy. He was a poor musician, and money was always tight, especially after his marriage to Constanze Weber. Political fighting at the Vienna court kept him from gaining patronage, and he descended to a life of poverty. His music...

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