European Mozartways

The Move to Vienna 1780 - 1783


At the end of 1780, after a lengthy stay in Salzburg, he travelled to Munich for a performance of his Opera seria, "Idomeneo, Re di Creta" K. 366. On March 12th, 1781, at the behest of the prince archbishop, he made his way to Vienna. While there, he made a variety of social contacts and once again got back in touch with the Weber family, whom he had originally met in Mannheim and who had since moved to Vienna in 1779. He defied the prince archbishop's directives and even threatened not to return.

1780 - 1781

The Mozart family regularly attended theatrical performances at the nearby Hoftheater, which had existed since 1775.  It was here that they established contacts with members of the visiting theatrical companies. On September 17th, 1780, the troupe of Emanuel Schikaneder, Mozart's later librettist, made its first appearance in Salzburg.

On November 5th of the same year, Mozart left his parents' home and travelled to Munich in order to complete his opera "Idomeneo" K. 366. His father and his sister, Nannerl, were both present for the first performance.

Repeated disagreements with the prince archbishop led to Mozart's total break with his Salzburg employer on June 8th, 1781. Mozart attempted to get a foothold in Vienna, financing his lifestyle primarily as an opera composer, as a piano virtuoso performing his own compositions, and as a teacher.


He achieved his first Viennese operatic success with the performance of his singspiel, "The Abduction from the Seraglio" K. 384 at the Burgtheater on July 16th, 1782. In the same year, and contrary to his father's wishes, he married Constance Weber, the daughter of theatre factotum, Franz Fridolin Weber, and his wife, Maria Cäcilia.
At the end of 1782, Mozart completed the first of six string quartets, K. 387, 421 (417b), 428 (421b), 458, 464, 465, which were later put into print by Artaria on September 1st, 1785, featuring a noteworthy dedication to the great composer Joseph Haydn.


After more than one-and-a-half years in Vienna, Mozart travelled with his wife, Constance, to Salzburg for a visit to his father and sister.

It was during this stay in Salzburg that the first performance of the Mass in C minor K. 427 (417a) took place on October 26th, 1783, at the church of St. Peter's, with Constance singing soprano.  Mozart renewed some old friendships.  A friend of the family, concertmaster Johann Michael Haydn, had been ordered by the prince archbishop to write a duet for violin and viola.  But because he was incapacitated by a severe illness and unable to complete the task, Mozart went ahead and, in a matter of days, composed his Duets for Violin and Viola in G major K. 423 and B-flat major K. 424, submitting them in Haydn's name.