Vicente de Paredes: Mozart being presented to Mme Pompadour, xylograph

Wolfgang Amadé Mozart and the Imperial Court at Vienna


A story of high-flying success and bitter disappointments: today a household name all over the world, as a child prodigy aged only six Wolfgang Amadé Mozart enthralled the imperial family with a command performance at Schönbrunn Palace. But only once during his short life (1756–1791) did he succeed in securing a position as Court Composer at the Imperial Court in Vienna, and then only briefly. As an independent artist and virtuoso pianist he supplemented his intermittently meagre living from commissions for various patrons. In his numerous operas he drew on some of the currents of the time, absorbing the new revolutionary spirit and Masonic ideals, both of which found their way into his music, and achieved considerable success, particularly in Prague and at the Viennese suburban theatres.

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