Wolfgang Amadeus MozartComposer
Born: 27 January 1756
Died: 5 December 1791 (fever)
Birthplace: Salzburg, Austria
Best known as: Composer of Eine kleine Nachtmusik
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is one of the heavyweights of classical music, generally placed in the top rank of composers along with Beethoven and Bach. Many consider Mozart to be the greatest composer of all time. He was a child prodigy who wrote his first symphony at age eight, then grew into a prolific adult who wrote over 600 pieces of music. Among his most famous works are Eine kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music, 1787) and the operas Don Giovanni (1787) and Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute, 1791). Mozart died of a mysterious fever at age 35. Over the years various people have speculated that Mozart was murdered, perhaps by rival composer Antonio Salieri, but no proof exists to support that theory. In the year 2000 a scholarly panel suggested that Mozart died of rheumatic fever; in the year 2009 a group of doctors suggested strep throat led to deadly kidney failure; and others have suggested causes ranging from pneumonia to trichinosis from undercooked pork chops.
Extra credit: Mozart married the former Constanze Weber in 1782. She was the younger sister of Aloysia Weber, who had refused Mozart's marriage proposal a few years earlier... Mozart was portrayed by actor Tom Hulce in the hit 1984 movie Amadeus.
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