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mozart


             Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on January 27, 1756 to Leopold and Maria Anna of Salzburg. They had seven children, but only Wolfgang and his older sister Nannerl survived. Leopold Mozart was a professional musician and composer who began teaching his children the fundamentals of music at an early age. Wolfgang began his musical journey by learning from his sister's music books as a toddler. By the age of five, he had composed tow miniatures, and a year later, in 1762; he penned two minuets in binary form K2, K5, and an Allegro, K3.
             It was also in 1762 that Wolfgang took his first tour as a musician. Along with his father and Nannerl, he went to Munich, where the children played for Maximillian III Joseph, Elector of Bavaria. Then they toured Vienna for four months performing for various nobles and dignitaries. The family was well received on this trip, and the children were praised for their impressive abilities.
             After a six-month hiatus in Salzburg, Leopold took his children back on the road through Germany, France, the Low Countries, England, and Switzerland. Throughout the tour the children played at court and gave public concerts. It was on this tour, at their stop in Paris, that Mozart first had his music published. The published pieces were sonatas for keyboard and violin, K6-9. From Paris they headed to England where they continued to perform at courts of such dignitaries as George III in April and May of 1764.
             The European tour did not just expose the world to the talents of Wolfgang Mozart; it also exposed Mozart to the music of Europe. The tour provided many opportunities for him to be exposed to music styles and musicians of a caliber that could not be found in quiet Salzburg. Many of the musicians that he was exposed to influenced him throughout his life. For example, Honauer, Raupach, and CPE Bach were all borrowed from in Mozart's concertos (K37, 39-41).


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