What Made the Austrian Composer One of
the World’s Greatest Musical Talents



What Made the Austrian
Composer One of
the World’s Greatest
Musical Talents


Imagine for a moment the music scene of Mozart’s era. It was the late 18th century, a time when songs were commissioned like paintings by dukes, princes, archbishops and emperors who needed music for their private lessons, chamber parties and grand ballroom affairs. When not holding a court appointment, composers and musicians flocked to Europe’s most cosmopolitan cities like Paris, Florence and Vienna to perform in the grand symphonies and operas the local aristocracy attended en masse.

mozart-quoteWhen Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg in 1751, musical notation was just being standardized and the heaviness of the baroque period was giving way to something lighter. Along with the work of contemporaries like Haydn and Beethoven, Mozart’s compositions would come to define the new Classical era that flourished in Vienna. It was in this world of wigs and waltzes that he would go down in history as one of the most unique artistic talents of all time.

Here at Divine Living we’re always inspired to learn about the lives of legendary creatives and while in Vienna we couldn’t help but pick up a bit of the magic of Mozart. Read on to find out what made the Austrian composer’s contribution to western music so special.



Reasons Why
Mozart Made it Big



10,000 Hours—Check

No one can deny that Mozart was an incredibly well-trained musician. He started learning piano at the age of three from watching his father teach his older sister. Soon enough, he was the one getting lessons. By the age of five he had composed his first piece of music and began to travel around Europe, performing for royalty as a must-see child prodigy. When he played in London at age nine, some thought he was too good for a kid and suspected him of being a dwarf.

A Mind for the Music

Mozart constantly blew people away with his musical fluency and incredible memory. Once while at the Vatican, he heard a performance of a famous opera called Miserere and notated the entire score from memory, allowing it to be recreated outside the Vatican for the first time. His compositions were written quickly and deliberately, his originals as neat and tidy as his copies. When he passed away at 35, he had written more than 600 pieces of music, leaving an unmatched legacy of opera, concertos, symphonies, chamber music, sonatas and choral pieces—with success in every genre.

Pushing the Limits

Some have called Mozart the Bob Dylan of his time. He valued storytelling and took risks when selecting the librettos for his operas. His plots aimed to move society forward, introducing the upper class to the perspectives of servants and the poor. With a message that still resonates today, shows like The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute remain some of the top operas in the world and were a major source of income for Mozart’s family.

The 18th Century Entrepreneur

Mozart was a hustler. Not only could he compose and conduct a symphony with under a week’s notice, he was determined to develop an independent career that would allow him to fully express his creative vision. When the grand halls became overbooked, he would produce his own piano concerts in unconventional locations like upscale restaurants and luxury apartments. During one prolific five-week period in 1784, he performed as a soloist 22 times.

Collaborative Genius

Mozart was both a generous creative, collaborator and borrower. He remembered any music he heard so easily and always sought to improve upon it, drawing direct influence from predecessors like Bach and Handel. He also developed a friendship with Joseph Haydn, one of the most highly regarded composers of the time. The two would occasionally perform together in impromptu string quartets and to honor the friendship, Mozart dedicated six of his string quartet compositions to Haydn.



Discover the composer’s most beloved works

Serenade in G Major: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Listen on iTunes

Piano Concerto No. 21 “Elvira Madigan” in C Major
Listen on iTunes

Piano Sonata in C Major K. 545
Listen on iTunes

The Requiem Mass in D Minor
Listen on iTunes

Symphony in D Major, K. 385 “Haffner-Sinfonie”
Listen on iTunes

Le Nozze di Figaro—The Marriage of Figaro (Opera)
Listen on iTunes

Die Zauberflöte—The Magic Flute (Opera)
Listen on iTunes



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