Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is one of the greatest composers in the history of Western music. His genius as both a composer and a performer is well-known and greatly admired up to this day. Unlike other classical composers, Mozart was able to compose pieces in all musical genres of his day, including opera, sonatas, and symphonies. Though Mozart was hailed as a genius, he did not experiment with musical forms. Instead, he mastered and perfected existing forms and elevated them to new heights.
Mozart was born on January 27, 1756, in Salzburg, Austria, to Leopold Mozart and Anna Maria Pertl. He was a child prodigy. He started playing the harpsichord at age three, composed his first piece at age five, and performed at two imperial courts by age six. In 1763, Mozart and his sister Nannerl went on a musical tour around Western Europe, performing in major cities like Munich, Paris, and London. After the tour concluded, he composed a German singspiel and an Italian opera buffa. Due to his talents, he was appointed as the Konzertmeister at the Salzburg court at age thirteen.
Many of his most well-known pieces include the opera The Magic Flute (1793), Eine kleine Nachtmusik (1787), the Jupiter Symphony (1788), Exsultate, Jubilate (1773), and his unfinished Requiem in D minor (1791). He has composed more than 600 pieces in total. He is also part of the Viennese Classical School with Haydn and Beethoven.
Numismatics Featuring Mozart
Many countries have honored Mozart and have minted coins during special anniversaries of his birth and death. For instance, during Mozart’s 250th birth anniversary in 2006, six countries—Austria, the British Virgin Islands, the Cook Islands, France, Mongolia, and Togo—struck commemorative coins honoring the occasion.
The National Bank of Austria has also featured Mozart on the 5000-schilling note. The 5,000 Austrian schilling note is a standard circulation note issued in 1988 as part of the second schilling series. It is a light brown note that measures 160 mm x 80 mm. Its obverse side shows the bust of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, an octagonal gold Kinegram, and a stylized view of Salzburg. Its reverse side features the façade of the State Opera House in Vienna. Security features include a tragicomedy mask registration device, a solid security thread, and a watermark of the coat of arms of Austria. This note is the first in the world to include a Kinegram feature. It was also withdrawn in 2002 due to Austria adopting the euro.