Meet the Composer: Wolfgang Mozart

Composer Series
Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum/Decca Classics

Age Range: Elementary

Introduction: Composers write music, just like authors write books. In the Class Notes “Meet the Composer” series, we will learn a little bit about the achievements, backstory, and influences of a variety of composers. Get ready to learn about these influential composers and listen to some of their music.

Free Download: Printable Lesson Plan: Wolfgang Mozart


Wolfgang Mozart [MOH-tzart] was born in Salzburg, Austria, in 1756, into a very musical family. His father was his first music teacher and his older sister was also an excellent musician. The Mozart siblings were so skilled that their parents brought them around Europe to perform for royalty. Wolfgang Mozart began composing as a young child. By the time he was in his teens, he was writing longer pieces for professional musicians and taking jobs around Europe. 

When he was around 25, Wolfgang Mozart moved to the city of Vienna, which was a center of musical activity. After a short time in the city, he earned a reputation for being an excellent keyboard player, and he became very well known for composing opera. Wolfgang Mozart became sick in 1791 and died later that year. He was only 35 years old when he died, but he had written hundreds and hundreds of pieces of music.


  1. Here is one movement, or section, from Wolfgang Mozart's 11th piano sonata. It is called “Alla Turca” because he imitated elements of Turkish music, which was popular during his time in Vienna. 

  2. One of the last operas Mozart wrote was called The Magic Flute. The opera includes several magical and mystical characters and a bird catcher named Papageno. In this famous aria, or song, Papageno meets his ideal mate, a female bird catcher named Papagena. 

  3. Right before his death, Mozart was working on a requiem, which is a set of musical pieces used in a funeral or other service honoring the dead. As you listen, think about how this music expresses emotion and feeling. What moods and expression do you hear?

  4. Wolfgang Mozart loved to compose music for the clarinet; it was one of his favorite instruments. Listen to this very short excerpt from his Clarinet Concerto.


  1. Use Wolfgang Mozart’s music to think about the connection between music and feelings with our Music and Expression lesson. 

  2. Wolfgang Mozart wrote many operas. Learn more about opera, and make your own mini-opera, with our What is OPERA? lessons. 

Related Lesson Plans

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