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First look: 250 years of Mozart

January 27, 2006 18:04 IST

Mozarts of all ages and sizes are on display in stores all over Salzburg, Austria, on the occasion of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's 250 birth anniversary.

The famous Austrian composer was born in Salzburg at 9, Getreidegasse on January 26, 1756. He was christened Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, but preferred to call himself Wolfgang. Mozart began his musical career at a very young age. His talent was promoted in the courts of Europe by an unscrupulous father. At a tender age he demonstrated his ability to play complicated pieces of music blindfolded and other feats in front of royalty of all hues. Mozart spent much of his life travelling across Europe and showcased his music in about 200 European cities. The body of work that he composed in his short lifetime was enormous, including 41 symphonies and 22 operas. He died in Vienna in 1791 impoverished at the age of 35 and was buried in an unmarked grave

Everything from chocolates, statues, antique cups, sausages, cakes, umbrellas, T-shirts, calendars, beer, music sheets, CDs to stamps embossed with white-powdered-wigged Mozart are on sale in Salzburg. Mozartmania has hit Austria.

Interestingly Prague, in the Czech Republic, will also honour this very popular composer of European classical music. Mozart visited, worked and stayed in Prague several times between 1787 and 1791 and had a special relationship with the city. He presented the two-act Don Giovanni, considered one of his best works, in Prague. 

Photograph: Getty Images