Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was born in Salzburg, Austria on January 27, 1756 to Leopold Mozart and Anna Maria Pertl. The child began composing minuets at the age of 5 and symphonies at 9. When he was 6, he and his older sister Maria Anna performed a series of concerts for European royal courts in major European cities. Both children played the keyboard, yet Wolfgang became a violin virtuoso as well.
In 1770 the fourteen year old Mozart wrote his first opera, Mitridate, re di Ponto. When the Emperor commissioned Mozart to write an opera in1782, Mozart was 26 years old, living in Vienna with long-time family friends, The Webers (Mozart eventually married Constanze Weber).
Prospering as an opera composer, he completed Die Entführung aus dem Serail [The Abduction from the Seraglio], a work that many considered a masterpiece, in 1782.
Emperor Joseph II hired him as his court composer, and four years later he composed The Marriage of Figaro, the first of his collaborations with Lorenzo da Ponte (followed by Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte).
Mozart’s fame began to disappear after Figaro. A fellow Freemason, Michael Puchberg, provided financial assistance to Mozart as he sank into debt. Mozart died on 5 December 1791 at age 35 – a young age, even for the time period. He was buried in a common, unmarked grave at the Viennese cemetery of Saint Marx.