The major figure in music at the tail end of the Enlightenment was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (17561791), who ushered in the Classical era. A child prodigy of nearly unfathomable gifts, Mozart was composing music by age six, touring Europe by eight, and writing full-length operas by twelve. As he got older, however, he lacked the business savvy of Handel and, as a result, sometimes had trouble securing work. He worked as an underappreciated court musician for a time before going out on his own, though he remained on the verge of bankruptcy all the while. Mozart died at an early age from an undetermined ailment, though not before finishing an astonishing collection of operas, including The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and The Magic Flute. He also wrote more than forty symphonies, significant chamber music, concertos, sonatas, and sacred works and masses, including the famous Requiem.

Popular pages: The Enlightenment (1650–1800)