Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756. Though he was baptized Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, he preferred to use the latter part of his name as an adult. He was born in Salzburg, in an area that is now considered Austria. His parents had several other children, but he had only one sister that lived. His father was a violin teacher, composer, and very involved in the local orchestra, which all influenced Mozart in his early years.
As a toddler, he watched his sister take piano lessons and became interested in learning music himself. He started learning the piano and by the age of five was already composing works. His father eventually began touring with his two children, claiming that the two were prodigies. When he was only eight, Mozart spent some time with Bach and also met other practicing musicians and composers. He spent most of 1775 working on violin concertos, but later turned his attention back to the piano.
While in Mannheim a few years later he fell in love with Aloysia Weber, but was forced to move to Paris to find work. He spent a few years in the city, but after his romance fizzled and his mother died, he moved home to be with his father. He continued to work in Salzburg until he had a falling out with the way he was treated and eventually moved to Vienna.
His opera "The Abduction from the Seraglio" was composed in Vienna and after becoming a success, created more opportunities for Mozart. He also began living with the Weber family and fell in love with Aloysia's younger sister Constanze. The two married in 1782 and had six children, only two of which lived more than a few months. Mozart's success led the couple to make some significant changes in their lifestyle such as moving to a larger and more expensive home. They also had servants and sent their oldest son away to school.
Mozart began losing money toward the end of the decade as he appeared less in public and his writing was less frequent. The family was forced to move out of their expensive home and Mozart turned to his former friends for help and monetary loans. He wrote even less than he did before and there is some evidence to support the theory that he may have battled with depression.
In 1791 he began writing again, creating "The Magic Flute" and other piano concertos. He also began selling some of his newer works to private clients and started paying back the money he previously borrowed. On September 6 of that year he was working in Prague when he became sick. He tried to keep working, but was eventually confined to his bed. He passed away on December 5 while in the company of his wife and her sister.
To learn more on Mozart and find out more information on the life and times of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart check out the following links:
List of Works
Mozart Music Archive
Mozart Sheet Music
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Strings in the Mountains
The Mozart Project
Classical Music Page
Mozart on Wikipedia
Books on Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Island of Freedom