Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Brooklyn. Brooklyn Wonders, “Did Mozart have a successful career” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Brooklyn!

When you’re in the mood to listen to music, what tunes soothe your soul? Do you tune the radio to the latest rock and pop hits? Or is country more your speed? Perhaps you prefer rap or hip hop? Or do you sit back and soak up the sounds of classical music?

There are no electric guitars and synthesizers in classical music. Instead, you’ll hear many different instruments, from pianos and violins to flutes and clarinets. A full orchestra can charm the ears in a special way that few types of music can.

You may have heard of some of the giants of classical music. They have names such as Bach and Beethoven. Some believe one name stands above all others, though. Who are we talking about? Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, of course!

Born in 1756 in Salzburg, Austria, Mozart was a child prodigy. His father, Leopold, was a violinist and composer. He introduced Mozart to music at an early age. Mozart often watched his older sister practice piano. He started learning the basics when he was just three years old.

With the support and teaching of his father, Mozart soon moved beyond the piano. He learned to play both the clarinet and violin. Mozart wasn’t only good at playing music, though. At five years old, he composed his first simple piece of music.

In 1762, Mozart joined his father and sister on a tour of some of Europe’s largest cities. They played music in Munich, Paris, London, and Zurich. People were amazed at the talent of six-year-old Mozart. He met many important musicians who would influence his future work.

In his teen years, Mozart took several trips to Italy with his father. There, they played concerts for Italian nobles. He also continued to write new works. In addition to Italian operas, he created many concertos for both violin and piano.

In 1781, Mozart moved to Vienna, Austria. There, he would rise to great fame as a composer and performer. He married his wife, Constanze, in 1782. They had six children, but only two survived infancy.

In Vienna, Mozart was influenced greatly by the works of other composers. This included Bach, Handel, and Haydn. One of his operas, Die Entführung, was very successful. He soon became famous all over Europe. The money he made allowed Mozart and his family to live an extravagant lifestyle.

Unfortunately, Mozart’s good fortune would not last. He had money problems despite composing new works at a rapid pace. In his final years in Vienna, he wrote some of his most famous symphonies, concertos, and operas. This included The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and The Magic Flute.

Mozart died in 1791 at the age of 35. Some people believe he was poisoned by a rival. But experts suspect that he died of rheumatic fever. He had struggled with this condition several times over the course of his life.

At the time of his death, Mozart was widely thought to be one of the greatest composers of all time. During his life, he composed over 600 works. Many of these are said to be some of the best examples of symphonic, operatic, choral, and chamber music.

Mozart’s work lives on today. He has remained one of the most popular classical composers in history. He also had a great influence on other musicians and composers, such as Beethoven.

Have you ever listened to Mozart? Do you agree that he was one of the greatest musicians of all time? Maybe you’re a child prodigy yourself! Now is a great time to try your hand at music and find out.

Standards: CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1

Wonder What's Next?

Fire up the grill! Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day is smokin’ hot!